Article written and provided by Greater Cincinnati Foundation.
Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) connects people with purpose across our region throughout the year and especially during this season of giving. With support made possible by the strength of donor partnerships, GCF’s Northern Kentucky Fund and other GCF endowments that are dedicated for Boone, Campbell and Kenton Counties, Northern Kentucky nonprofits recently have been awarded $331,000.
Grants to support Safety Net services
The market downturn and rise of inflation that have followed the pandemic have been costly to everyone, and most especially to our neighbors who need basic services and the organizations that serve them. With $220,000 directed, GCF supported five Northern Kentucky organizations working to ensure individuals in need have access to food, shelter, and well-integrated mental health services.
The Children’s Home of NKY received $20,000 to increase the availability and accessibility of mental/behavioral health and substance use treatment services. The grant will help to increase clinical staff, expand technology and telehealth services, and renovate residential and outpatient facilities.
Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky received $50,000 to support its emergency crisis shelter programming and cover the increased costs of utilities and staffing. Its new, double-sized facility in Covington shelters up to 68 homeless individuals and is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. “ESNKY is grateful to have the support of GCF to help us achieve our mission to provide life-saving, life-changing shelter and services to adults in our community,” says Executive Director, Kim Webb. “The safety net grant will allow us to continue to provide not only the basic necessities and an immediate bed, but also bridge sheltering with the goal of long-term stability. We appreciate GCF recognizing that a community must support an emergency shelter at a time when affordable housing is lacking. We value the donors at GCF that make this happen.”
The Ion Center for Violence Prevention received $50,000, in partnership with the R.C. Durr Foundation, to help the center provide safe housing and mental health counseling. “This critical funding will help the Ion Center for Violence Prevention provide life-saving shelter for women, men, and children fleeing intimate partner violence. It also helps us provide additional mental health counseling for victims as they navigate the impact of trauma and violence in their lives (all services are free of charge to our community),” says CEO Christy Burch.
Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission received $50,000 to support the student parents who reside in Lincoln Grant Scholar House while pursuing a college degree and economic self-sufficiency. Specifically, this grant will help Lincoln Grant provide stronger integrated mental health supports to meet the needs of single-parent resident families.
St. Vincent de Paul – Northern Kentucky received $50,000, in partnership with the R.C. Durr Foundation, to help cover rent and utility expenses for families struggling to make ends meet. St. Vincent de Paul provides emergency financial assistance and basic necessities to those in need toward the goal of keeping people safe in their homes and preventing homelessness. “Our region comes together when times get tough,” says Executive Director, Karen Zengel. “The collaboration among community partners has filled gaps where they exist. And, donors and foundation partners, like GCF, have recognized that many are struggling to make ends meet and extend their support to help a neighbor in a time of need. With all these resources, we will continue to work hard to ensure that no one is alone in the hardship they are facing.”
Grants to support Environmental Beautification
Our community’s landscapes are spectacular. GCF looks to enhance the accessibility and quality of greenspaces while connecting historically marginalized groups to the benefits of nature. Three Northern Kentucky organizations have received a total of $36,000 in funding to keep our region’s environment beautiful and accessible.
Kenton County Conservation District received $5,000, in partnership with the R.C. Durr Foundation, to fund the development of Martin Woods, an outdoor learning space that will serve students in the Erlanger-Elsmere School District. Martin Woods is located in a highly urbanized area next to Miles Elementary School, where there is little safe access to greenspace. Funds will support the design of a small trail system and outdoor space, as well as an environmental education curriculum designed around ecological features of the area.
Notre Dame Urban Education Center received $6,000 for an irrigation system for their STEM Garden, a fun space where students and their mentors can access outdoor activities by interacting with nature. The garden serves as an avenue toward enhancing eco-literacy, where students learn about food security, nutrition, and sustainability.
ReNewport received $25,000, in partnership with the R.C. Durr Foundation, for the large extension and enhancement of Buena Vista Park in West Newport. The revitalization includes adding trees, plants, seating, and a shelter, offering quality greenspace for students attending nearby Newport Primary School. Executive Director Josh Tunning explains, “Thanks to the support, we can convert the large lot connected to the park that is currently filled with gravel and deteriorating concrete into a brand-new extension and greenspace totaling over 4,500 square footage of new park space for the neighborhood.”
Grants to support Inclusive Communities
We live in a region that values inclusivity of all kinds. Three Northern Kentucky nonprofits that drive the inclusion of people living with physical and developmental disabilities in our region have received a total of $75,000 in funding.
- Redwood School received $25,000 to repair and pave its Welcome Center parking and seal two other parking lots, improvements that are part of Redwood’s extensive renovations. Helping clients grow their abilities requires a safe, attractive, and functional physical environment for Redwood programs to operate.
- The Point Arc’s Zembrodt Education Center received $25,000 to support the Zembrodt Education Center’s year-round social and vocational programming, including family-friendly events, social dances, and an art therapy classroom for students. Families will have the opportunity to learn more skills for achieving success in the community.
Volunteers of America Mid-States received $25,000 for its VOA Community program, which operates residential homes and provides supportive living and care for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The program also provides services for clients, including self-care skills, health care coordination, transportation, and community engagement opportunities that improve their independence.
As the region’s largest community foundation, GCF believes the most remarkable changes happen when people come together – in partnership, collaboration, and generosity. With generous partnerships now spanning six decades and three generations, GCF can work to ensure vibrancy of our spaces and prosperity for all residents. You can join us in making important community investments like these for the continued vitality of Northern Kentucky.
Visit gcfdn.org/northern-kentucky-fund for more information.