The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is closely monitoring developments and following recommendations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic from both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and we are working swiftly to identify actions we can take to support our staff, partners, grantees and vulnerable populations during this time.
We support the guidelines on community-based interventions set forth by the CDC and the recommendations by the LA Department of Public Health to encourage social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of the virus for the safety and well-being of our staff and communities, especially in the absence of a vaccine or other preventive medication.
Social distancing involves taking measures to increase the physical space between people to slow the spread of the virus. Examples include working from home, temporarily closing businesses, and cancelling or postponing gatherings.
In accordance with this recommendation, the Hilton Foundation has chosen to close our offices temporarily, asking all staff to work remotely in an effort to reduce the number of overall in-person interactions. We believe this to be the most responsible action we can take to safeguard the health and safety of our staff and while protecting the wider community.
As a private foundation we have a unique opportunity to play an active role in efforts to protect the most vulnerable communities during a pandemic. To that end, we have approved several grants to support vulnerable populations both in our community and internationally. These grants include:
- $250,000 to World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (through a partnership with King Baudouin Foundation United States), to strengthen COVID-19 response mechanisms in affected countries within its jurisdiction.
- $250,000 to Brilliant Corners, in collaboration with Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, to provide support for the County’s COVID-19 prevention and response among individuals experiencing homelessness.
- $100,000 to Hilton Humanitarian Prize laureate International Rescue Committee, to support continuity of services and scale-up of frontline capacity as part of its COVID-19 global response plan.
We are also working with several Los Angeles-area foundations to develop a joint philanthropic fund designed to support the LA County Department of Public Health in addressing the outbreak, particularly before state and federal funding starts to arrive.
While the future of COVID-19 remains unknown, the Hilton Foundation will continue to closely follow guidelines and recommendations to protect staff, partners and communities.
We encourage our partners to stay vigilant and safe during this uncertain time.