Since 1992, the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County has supported 400 nonprofit organizations through our grant making efforts. As the Community Foundation continues to grow our capacity to support this community we have evolved our grant making strategy.
Heading Home Grants
In Summer 2022, the Community Foundation awarded six nonprofit organizations with Heading Home Grants. A total of $200,000 was awarded as part of this funding initiative.
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.
Creating Community Grants
In December 2021, the Community Foundation awarded nine nonprofit organizations with Creating Community Grants. A total of $154,036 was awarded as part of this funding initiative.
Cancer Support Community South Central Indiana to develop a mural and launch a therapeutic art program – CSCCI has a new building where as many as 1,800 cancer patients, families, and caregivers receive free support programs beyond clinical care. This grant will fund a mural that inspires hope near the entrance and an art therapy program to complement existing support services.
Canopy Bloomington to pilot the “Youth Tree Tenders” program. This education and awareness initiative will employ six high-risk teens to learn about urban forestry, enhance Bloomington’s existing trees, plant new trees in low-canopy neighborhoods, and improve environmental literacy in the community.
Danny Smith Memorial Park to fund renovations to this community park near Unionville. As the only park in northeastern Monroe County, this multi-use gathering and play space serves 5,600 nearby residents through a variety of recreational activities. These enhancements will fund a new playground and update an existing playground and basketball court.
Edgewood Early Childhood Center to construct a new outdoor shelter for outdoor classes and community events. While current COVID protocols do not allow parents or visitors inside the Center, this new covered shelter will include seating for parents and guardians to join their child(ren) for meals and create a permanent gathering site for educational and community events.
Friends of Lake Monroe to support the Lake Monroe Watershed Management Plan and a contract watershed coordinator. A watershed coordinator will develop education and outreach to protect and enhance Lake Monroe. The coordinator will organize community forums and launch a pilot program to assist homeowners in maintaining septic systems.
Indiana University Arts & Sciences Council to support the “Granfalloon” event scheduled for June 2022. Inspired by Hoosier author Kurt Vonnegut, this festival celebrates civic engagement, independent thought, art, and creativity.Grant funding will support programming and speakers on the topics of advancing local diversity and inclusion, environmental advocacy, and sustainability.
The Project School to install a small learning garden and creative play space. Located on a formerly vacant lot, this “mini-park” will feature raised gardens, storage sheds, art installations, and green space. The multi-use space will be open to the public and used for a variety of educational and recreational programs.
Sycamore Land Trust to restore and stabilize streambanks and trails at the Powell Preserve along Beanblossom Creek. Funding will allow SLT to install erosion control measures, protect access to trails, and improve the water quality along the creek. Once these and other needed enhancements are completed, the preserve will reopen to the public.
WFHB – Bloomington Community Radio to resume the Youth Radio program. This program aims to train youth ages 13-20 with skills in broadcast radio, podcasting, and journalistic reporting to produce live programming each week. WFHB hopes to involve 25 young people in the program each year with an emphasis on underserved youth as well as equity, diversity, and inclusion.
To see more grants awarded in 2021 & 2020, please view the Community Foundation COVID-19 Response page.