Abstract: There Is Not Enough Funding for Us: Barriers Encountered By Latinx-Serving Organizations in the Deep South (Society for Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Social Change)

All live presentations are in Eastern time zone.

444P There Is Not Enough Funding for Us: Barriers Encountered By Latinx-Serving Organizations in the Deep South

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
* noted as presenting author
Maria Wilson, LMSW, LVN, Senior Researcher, University of Houston, Houston, TX
Samira Ali, PhD, LMSW, Assistant Professor, University of Houston, Houston, TX
Roberta Leal, PhD, LMSW, Assistant Professor, University of Houston-Clear Lake, Houston, TX
Background and Purpose: Latinx communities are disportionately impacted by HIV in the US South. HIV service organizations (HSO) are the frontlines of providing medical and social support services to communities impacted by HIV. In the US South, recent research has found that organizations encounter barriers in providing much needed services to their communities such as funding challenges and systematic and social barriers (Shapatava et al., 2018). Organizations led by impacted communities, in this case Latinx communities, are often smaller, grassroots organizations that provide a host of services that ultimately enhance the wellbeing of their communities. Latinx-led organizations might be disportionately impacted or have unique barriers in receiving funding, however there is little understanding about such barriers Thus the aim of this study is to understand the barriers as related to funding faced by Latinx-led HIV services organizations in the US South. It is important to understand the barriers they face as organizations so that macro-level, structural conditions can be changed to lift the barriers they face.

Methods: We used qualitative evaluation data from a Capacity Building Assistance Center (CBAC) who works with over 60 HIV service organizations in the US South through social justice oriented collaborative grantmaking and capacity building. Evaluation data consisted of 15 field notes from interviews with Latinx-led organizational staff and attendance at various conferences on HIV. Thematic analysis was conducted.

Results: Our findings indicate that organizations faced multiple funding related barriers. Three funding related barriers were the most salient. The first barrier was complex application processes, meaning the application was too long or language was difficult to interpret throughout as well as not having a multilingual application option, in this case Spanish. The second barrier identified was applicants had limited grant writing training and experience in addition to lack of technical support from funders to navigate grant opportunities. Finally, limited grant opportunities intended for Latinx communities, meaning applicants did not meet criteria to apply.

Conclusions and Implications: Our findings indicate that the application process, lack of applications in Spanish and lack of structured grants for Latinx communities pose significant barriers for Latinx-led organizations to provide services to their communities. Findings in this study should be used to develop and implement action-oriented funding opportunities that build, enhance and/or support organizations and in turn minimize barriers. Grant developers should consider culturally appropriate, multi-lingual (if applicable) accessible funding opportunities to Latinx-serving organizations that may also be Latinx-led. In addition, these funding opportunities should develop and incorporate technical assistance and support to organizations that may not have the education or expertise to navigate grant writing mechanisms. Further research is needed to continue to address the barriers mentioned in the study.