An Employee Assistance Fund
The purpose of Hospitality Cares (HCNOLA) is to meet the emergency or crisis assistance needs of employees in the hospitality industry. It was organized by hospitality industry professionals who want to help colleagues and employees experiencing misfortune and needing temporary assistance to recover.
Rather than start a new non-profit organization, HCNOLA decided to partner with United Way for the Greater New Orleans Area, which has as its mission: “to increase the organized capacity of people to be independent and self-sufficient.” The founders worked with United Way to establish the program structure, eligibility and decision-making process and are now leading the fundraising effort.
United Way will help raise funds for Hospitality Cares, manage the application process for emergency aid, and provide the administrative and financial services necessary to support the accounting and tracking of funds contributed and distributed. In addition, through its Maximum Impact grants, United Way funds quality programs at area agencies that are also available for hospitality workers.
Businesses can now sign up to participate as a Hospitality Cares organization. Such enrollment will enable companies to refer employees for crisis assistance of up to $2,000 if they meet the following criteria:
- Must be a participating hospitality business employee of at least one year.
- Need for assistance must be emergency or crisis-oriented in nature, circumstances beyond the employee’s control; e.g. medical, rent/mortgage, or utility bill of a non-recurring nature.
- Must show that other resources and options have been depleted.
- Maximum assistance grant would be $2,000 paid to the owed vendor.
- Priority on households with children under age 17, caring for frail parents or children (any age) with disabilities.
All candidates for Hospitality Cares grants must be certified by participating hospitality business HR person as meeting length of employment criteria.
In order to be a Hospitality Cares organization, businesses commit to an annual contribution of $10 per full-time employee ($1,000 minimum per property) and run an annual United Way campaign. HCNOLA will also host special events to add to the emergency assistance fund.
Half of the undesignated funds raised in the United Way campaign will be restricted for Hospitality Cares employee emergency assistance. The other half of undesignated funds will go towards Maximum Impact grants that benefit all citizens of our region and to which candidates from Hospitality Cares may also be referred, as needed.
Implementation of assistance applications will begin once the Hospitality Cares Fund reaches a threshold of $30,000, enough to fund an initial 15 requests at the maximum amount each. Additional requests will be considered as the fund is replenished.