4-CT was started by a group of philanthropists and volunteers in March of 2020 to address unmet needs that remained in the landscape of state and federal pandemic relief efforts. Initially intended to be a rapid response organization complementary to the state government and private sector efforts, 4-CT has expanded since beyond just COVID-19 relief.
Our initial goal was to rapidly and effectively deliver relief to Connecticut residents, especially those who were disproportionately affected by the pandemic. 4-CT’s initial relief efforts were therefore focused on:
> Filling gaps and augmenting the State and Federal response;
> Helping frontline non-profit organizations meet the surge in demand caused by COVID-19;
> Scaling up successful local strategies, and
> Developing novel solutions when needed
In each of these focus areas, we enabled large amounts of grant funding, over $14 million philanthropic dollars, to be quickly deployed to reach vulnerable populations such as immigrants, essential workers, communities of color, low-income families, the unemployed, and the elderly.
By funding over 40 projects across the state in the areas of education, childcare, housing, food and health, 4-CT was able to bring rapid relief to the most marginalized residents of Connecticut who were also the ones disproportionately harmed by COVID-19.
4-CT’s goal of helping communities and families excluded from federal COVID-19 relief funds and unemployment benefits led to the design of the 4-CT direct cash assistance programs, the 4-CT card, and more. 4-CT continues to explore what the role of direct cash assistance can be in CT, and the many possibilities that it can achieve especially as COVID-19 moves into a long term crisis rather than a short term emergency.