Community Foundation awards $200,000 in “Heading Home” Grants

The Community Foundation awarded six nonprofit organizations with Heading Home grants this summer. A total of $200,000 has been awarded as part of this funding program, CFBMC’s second competitive grant cycle for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County (CFBMC) awarded six nonprofit organizations with Heading Home grants this summer. A total of $200,000 has been awarded as part of this funding program, CFBMC’s second competitive grant cycle for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

The Community Foundation’s Heading Home competitive granting program focuses on advancing housing security through projects and programs aligned with solutions outlined in the recently released Heading Home Plan, A Regional Plan for Making Homelessness Rare, Brief, and Non-Repeating.

The Heading Home Plan was developed collaboratively in 2021 by local and regional partners, including service providers, government officials, community members, funders, and people with lived experience. The plan is serving as a community guide to support long-term initiatives with strategies to address the many contributing factors to housing insecurity, ranging from financial and legal challenges to emotional, physical, and mental health-related matters.

“Since the release of the Heading Home Plan, our community has begun a new phase of deliberate collaboration to advance housing security in our region,” said President and CEO Tina Peterson.

“Working together, we are making amazing strides, but we know there is much work yet to do. Today, the Community Foundation is proud to award these Heading Home grants to dedicated nonprofit organizations that have made coordination and collaboration key components of their work. In addition to housing security, individuals and families impacted by these grants will have the benefit of support services from across our community to put them on a path to a better future.”

Grants were awarded in amounts ranging in size from $17,000 to $50,000:

  • Beacon, Inc. for a capital campaign feasibility study, architectural designs, and land assessments associated with a new facility that would combine and expand essential services for people experiencing property, hunger, and homelessness. – This grant will enable Beacon, Inc. to explore the development of a multi-tiered building that would centralize and expand essential and emergency services and housing stabilization in one location with co-located space for local health and substance misuse programs.
  • Bloomington Housing Authority to establish a rent deposit funding program to reduce financial barriers for low-income residents to secure stable housing opportunities. –Available to income-qualified renters, deposit assistance will be provided to an estimated 50-75 individuals per year as zero interest, flexible loans that can be repaid over time in alignment with participant income.
  • Catholic Charities Bloomington to support the Parent Empowerment and Child Therapy Program, a collaboration with New Hope for Families. – Through this program, low-income families threatened by homelessness will have on-site access to mental health services, including attachment-based child therapy and parenting empowerment support groups. New Hope’s early childcare educators will also receive evidence-based trauma therapy training to support children at the Nest.
  • Community Justice and Mediation Center (CJAM) to expand no-cost mediation services through the Housing and Eviction Prevention Project, a program that provides free landlord-tenant mediation services, legal advice, social service/rental housing assistance referrals, and court navigation support. This grant will enable CJAM to provide advanced eviction-court mediation training, develop mediator recruitment strategies, and expand its capacity to serve more clients.
  • Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM) to expand its Self-Sufficiency Center financial assistance program, which provides rent, mortgage, and utility payments for low-income families and individuals at risk of eviction or homelessness. Grant funding will allow MCUM to expand financial assistance to 200 more families and increase Self-Sufficiency Center outreach to landlords and community members.
  • New Leaf, New Life (NLNL) to enable 35 formerly incarcerated people to move into transitional housing with transportation vouchers and basic needs for employment such as clothing and shoes. In addition to NLNL’s transition navigation services, this grant will provide initial funding for these individuals to establish immediate transitional housing increasing the likelihood of them remaining sober, healthy, and employed.

CFBMC’s “Heading Home” grant initiative is co-funded by Smithville Charitable Foundation and made possible through unrestricted funds at the Community Foundation and designated field of interest funds established to support specific areas of focus.

“We are grateful for the generosity of Smithville Charitable Foundation and Community Foundation donors for entrusting us to invest in innovative programs and ideas that improve the quality of life for all who call Bloomington and Monroe County home,” added Peterson.

For more information on other efforts to reduce homelessness in our region, visit: https://www.monroeunitedway.org/housing

Other CFBMC Grant Programs

CFBMC’s “Heading Home” grant initiative is the second of two competitive funding rounds for the 2021-2022 fiscal year (July 1-June 30). In December, the Foundation awarded $154,000 to nine organizations as part of its Creating Community Grant initiative. Read more about this announcement.

CFBMC’s next competitive grant round is now open. This round will support a broad range of community needs and compelling opportunities rather than focus on any one specific area or initiative. Letters of intent are due September 7. For more information, visit: https://cfbmc.org/lasting-impact/apply-for-a-grant/community-impact-grants/

About Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County:

Created by individuals, families, and businesses who share a passion for Monroe County and a vision for its future, the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County has granted more than $28.9 million since its incorporation in 1990. With a growing $44 million endowment, the Foundation makes a difference by connecting caring people, important causes, and community resources.

About Heading Home of South Central Indiana:

Heading Home of South Central Indiana is a community-wide partnership working to decrease homelessness and improve housing security. Heading Home’s lead partners are the Community Foundation of Bloomington/Monroe County (CFBMC) and the United Way of Monroe County, where the Heading Home staff is based. For more information, visit https://www.monroeunitedway.org/housing