Community Impact Fund Grants Making a Difference
Our Community Impact Fund combines dollars from generous donors who believe in giving in ways that address ever-changing community needs together. The fund generates grants to preserve the quality of life in Palm Beach and Martin Counties.
The Community Impact Fund:
- Offers ways that you can give to help address community needs.
- Is informed by community-based data found in research.
- Engages staff, board members and volunteers representing diverse professional, personal and community backgrounds when making grant decisions.
Here are a few stories of beneficiaries of our grantees that illustrate how the grants we made to the organizations have impacted the lives of these individuals.
House of Hope
We made a $128,360 grant to fund a community center in a low-income community in Martin County offering programs and classes related to education, life skills, vocational training, and a variety of other services and support for community members. Margo*, 67, emigrated from Puerto Rico after her husband died two years ago, and she now lives in Martin County. Margo struggled to afford basic necessities and could not afford to do what she loved most: learning.
Margo was eager to learn English but couldn’t afford to pay for classes. Eventually, Margo got in touch with a case manager at House of Hope, a nonprofit that provides financial support and services to Martin County residents in need. She got a monthly housing stipend, received donated food and clothing, and was able to enroll in English classes.
Today, Margo has been receiving services and taking English classes at House of Hope for more than two years, and the organization has become an integral part of her community. She now teaches an Alphabetization class to help Spanish-speaking adults with basic literacy skills, and she hopes to one day be proficient enough in English to also teach English.
Pictured: Volunteers at House of Hope
We made an $119,100 grant to support access to affordable housing and supportive services for low-income residents in Palm Beach County. Neighborhood Renaissance is a nonprofit community organization that provides rental assistance and housing support to low and moderate income residents. West Palm Beach resident Kathleen* first learned she was pregnant when she was in jail. By the time she was released from jail, she was five and a half months pregnant, unemployed, only had a high school degree and was in recovery for substance use.
Kathleen gave birth to twin daughters in 2009, and for years, she struggled to find an affordable home that was big enough for her family of four. Thanks to support from Neighborhood Renaissance, Kathleen and her family now own a four-bedroom home with a yard. She works full time as a video editor and graphic designer, and she’s currently on track to receive an associate degree in video production.
Pictured: Neighborhood Renaissance helps provides rental assistance and housing support to low and moderate income families across the county.
Educational Attainment and Positive Youth Development
Best Foot Forward
We made a $99,121 grant to support youth in foster care to help achieve academic success and become productive members of society. Best Foot Forward is a nonprofit that provides educational support to foster youth. At age 15, David* decided to leave his home after years of enduring a challenging relationship with his mother and attempting suicide. He voluntarily entered the foster care system. The group home where David lived only provided food and shelter, leaving David to work odd jobs to pay for basic necessities such as clothing and bedsheets. David has a rare degenerative eye disease that would eventually prevent him from driving and was prohibitively expensive to treat.
After Best Foot Forward gave a presentation at the group home where he was staying, David met one-on-one with a case manager to ask her how the program worked. With support from Best Foot Forward, David graduated from high school and went on to earn his AA and BA college degrees, something he does not think he could have done without the support he received. Best Foot Forward also helped David treat his eye condition. Now 23 years old, David is currently working toward a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work at Florida State University with a goal to become a clinical therapist. Best Foot Forward’s comprehensive approach to helping David -- by providing financial, academic, housing and health-related support all at once -- transformed his life forever.
The Lord's Place
Last year, the Community Foundation granted The Lord's Place $50,000 as part of its GO Grants program from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund.
A year and a half ago, Hannah was released from prison and moved into The Lord’s Place’s Halle Place program. Shortly thereafter, she enrolled in Café Joshua’s employment program and was matched with a job coach. Next, she completed the program’s Job Ready course, which taught her resume writing, interviewing and computer literacy.
After graduating from Job Ready, Hannah enrolled in Café Joshua’s Thrift Store social enterprise job training program, with an emphasis on e-commerce. As a current participant, Hannah is learning practical business skills, such as how to identify donated merchandise with a higher online resale value; stage and list such items on web-based platforms, and provide virtual customer service to buyers.
Now, she is responsible for posting vintage designer shoes and clothing for sale on eBay. Based on her performance, Hannah is now eligible to move on to Level 2 of the social enterprise program, enabling her to increase her stipend. Café Joshua is looking forward to witnessing her continued personal, professional and economical growth.
*Names have been changed for privacy purposes.