for Y2K & Society Launches Website, Y2K Grant Program
- June 4 - The Center for Y2K & Society
has launched a Web site to support foundations and nonprofit organizations working
to prepare communities for potential disruptions caused by the Y2K computer date
"We created our Web site to support our mission of mobilizing and assisting nonprofits
to respond to Y2K threats in three key areas: healthcare, public and environmental
safety, and vulnerable communities. Each of these areas is significantly behind
the other sectors of our society in addressing Y2K," says Philip Bogdonoff, Director
of Outreach for the Center.
In addition to ongoing work in the three areas, the Center plans to give away
more than a quarter of a million dollars by the end of July to provide financial
support to enable existing nonprofit organizations working on Y2K issues to expand
their work. The Center also hope to motivate other organizations to join or lead
community efforts to prepare for Y2K.
The site is designed to help activists and community leaders make effective use
of their time. Rather than personally sift through all the myriad Y2K resources
on the Web, the Center has selected what the best of the resources available and
organized them by sector, as well as according to their usefulness for individuals,
communities, foundation, nonprofits, state and local governments.
The Y2K computer problem may have profound impacts on the ability of the healthcare
community to deliver adequate and equitable healthcare services. The U.S. Senate
Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem points to the healthcare
industry as lagging significantly behind other sectors in its Y2K preparations.
Many institutions, such as hospitals, clinics and nursing homes will not complete
fixing even their critical systems. Rural and inner-city hospitals are believed
to be especially at risk for Y2K-related problems.
Many indications about the possible affects of the Y2K problem on public and environmental
safety are sobering. The results could include nuclear or chemical releases putting
thousands at risk and damaging the environment. Assessing the vulnerability of
facilities handling hazardous materials is a formidable challenge. Y2K also poses
special threats to water resources, in virtually every kind of locality. Corporate
and government efforts to date have not addressed all the problems.
The most vulnerable in our communities are often kept afloat by the social safety
net crafted by an alliance of governments, foundations, nonprofits and the business
community. That safety net is very vulnerable to Y2K-related failures, and must
be strengthened now before significant holes appear. Distribution of food stamps,
unemployment benefits, and welfare payments may be disrupted. There may be increased
demands on food banks, shelters and health clinics. Both traditional and new networks
must be mobilized to prepare for Y2K.
Y2K Grant Program
The Center for Y2K and Society will provide grant support to local, state and
regional nonprofit organizations that are anticipating societal problems resulting
from Y2K computer problems. We seek to encourage the development of adequate community-wide
Y2K plans prepared in an open and democratic fashion. We also encourage the sharing
of "best practices" for addressing Y2K between one community and another.
Out grant program aims to support the following activities: community planning;
protection of persons especially vulnerable to impacts from Y2K; assurance of
adequate healthcare services; protection of public safety and the environment;
work with public officials; preparation by smaller communities; public education;
and news coverage. Most grants awarded will be for $5,000 to $20,000. In rare
instances, larger grants will be awarded, but no grant will exceed $35,000. Preference
will be given to projects that have matching funds available from local sources.
The next deadline for applications is July 1st, 1999.
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