News & Event
We are pleased to announce the first and second round of grant distributions from the Community Stabilization Fund. Our efforts are designed to act swiftly, be flexible as new information emerges, and take into account the range of other supports that have come into our community from both public and private sources. The Community Stabilization Fund targets three priority areas that were identified in conversations with local nonprofit partners: financial stability, health, and education. To date, $950,000 has been committed to the fund! This includes a $200,000 investment from the Community’s Endowment combined with generous gifts from local donors.
The first round of grant distributions, made in June, focused on the priority area of financial stability. A total of $115,000 was invested to launch the Greater Holland/Zeeland Area Direct Cash Assistance Program. This effort provides $500 emergency unrestricted cash relief to eligible local individuals who have lost their jobs or are experiencing significantly reduced hours of paid work due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Since the start of the pandemic, various federal stimulus bills have transferred funds to people who have lost their jobs, and to lower/middle income families in general; but there are individuals and families in our community who haven't yet received those funds, or may not be eligible to receive them. These friends and neighbors are struggling to meet their basic day-to-day needs.
CFHZ and some of our generous donors, alongside key community organizations who serve these populations, explored a variety of options to assist those who are falling through the cracks of our existing support systems. Collectively, we identified a direct-cash assistance program, partnering with a national organization called Family Independence Initiative (FII), as a key strategy to serve our vulnerable community members. We granted $100,000 to FII to establish the program, and an additional $5,000 each to our core partner agencies for administrative support to implement the program. We're delighted to share that generous local donors contributed an additional $500,000 for a total cash assistance funding pool of $600,000!
We have partnered with three local organizations who will identify those individuals who quality for the program: Community Action House, Good Samaritan Ministries, and Movement West Michigan. Each of these partners has further engaged their network of partner churches, grassroots organizations, and neighborhood community organizations to extend their reach to as many families as possible.
To be eligible for the Greater Holland/Zeeland Area Direct Cash Assistance Program, individuals must:
To date, the Direct Cash Assistance Program has directly impacted 600 individuals. We're deeply thankful to the generous local donors who have contributed towards these efforts.
Good Samaritan Ministries recently received funds from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to launch a six-month Eviction Diversion Program which will use a collaborative court process model, bringing together the courts, Legal Aid, mediation, tenants and landlords to provide lump sum payments to landlords in exchange for allowing tenants to remain in their homes. The Community Stabilization Fund grant will support GSM’s efforts to scale up capacity and ensure robust program delivery and services to divert hundreds of families from potential homelessness and provide a path back towards thriving in our community.
This grant will support ODC Network’s partnership with the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District and Holland/Zeeland area districts to provide schools and teachers with support, resources, and training on activating outdoor spaces and utilizing outdoor learning as a means to lower school building population density and increase social distancing while providing safe, meaningful, and engaging learning experiences for students. This effort will increase the chances of more children being able to safely attend school in person, which is beneficial for all children’s learning, but especially for those children who were already struggling in school and who likely experienced even greater learning loss due to the remote learning transition last spring followed by summer break.
Ready for School, in partnership with area schools, rapidly adapted their highly successful kindergarten readiness program to offer the four-week experience in a modified format this summer. Given the unique challenges facing this year’s incoming kindergartners and their families, this grant will support continuing the program into the fall to complement and enhance whatever format in which schools are able to provide kindergarten. How well this critical first year of school goes for these students will have a long-lasting impact on the trajectory of their learning and this investment will help ensure they have the strongest kindergarten experience possible in an inherently difficult environment.
CASA provides elementary school students who are struggling academically with a structured educational support program to achieve their learning goals. CASA pivoted quickly this summer to continue providing students robust learning opportunities in an effective and meaningful way despite new constraints. This grant will invest in the follow-up effort to re-imagine what Fall CASA programming looks like, particularly as the organization works to incorporate Hope College Education Department students who typically serve as one-on-one tutors during the school year in a new format.
This grant will allow Family Hope Foundation to expand their therapy scholarship program for Holland/Zeeland area children with special needs and learning disabilities to help them regain progress and milestones lost due to recent interruptions to schooling and support services. The program works collaboratively with a broad network of providers to find customized supports that will best serve each individual student’s needs.
We are pleased to announce the third round of grant distributions from the Community Stabilization Fund. An initial investment of $200,000 from our Community's Endowment, combined with the generous investments of local donors, allows us to assist in setting the stage for recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Community Stabilization Fund targets three priority areas that were identified in conversations with local nonprofit partners: financial stability, health, and education. To date, grant distributions have been made for each priority area. We anticipate funding organizations working in each priority area one more time before the close of 2020.
The primary goal of this grant round was scaling up existing mental health and substance abuse providers to be able to serve more people and reach different audiences. We are fortunate that many efforts to expand mental health services were already well underway prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic and we have numerous community partners providing great services in this space. Given these factors, the Community Stabilization Fund made several investments, as compared to one or two larger investments, to scale up services with multiple nonprofit partners. We have prioritized programs with the capacity to quickly translate dollars from the Fund into increased services for community members in need. A total of $135,000 was granted to six local organizations.
This funding will assist OAR with hiring an additional Masters-level clinician, which will increase their ability to provide outpatient addiction treatment by at least 250 additional individuals over the course of a year.
This funding will support increasing the hours of HFHC’s Mental Health Program Specialist staff member, who is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and continuing additional hours for their contracted licensed counselor. Combined, this will increase both the number of clients served and types of services offered through HFHC’s mental health and substance abuse programs. HFHC will have capacity to serve approximately 30 additional new clients, a sixty percent increase from their current capacity of 50.
This funding will help COAHM Health Clinic increase hours of their current counseling staff to immediately begin serving at least 10 more individuals per week for traditional counseling. The program currently has capacity for 23 individuals at a time and COAHM staff report there is a rolling waitlist of approximately 10 people in need of counseling.
This funding will help ensure Mosaic is able to continue providing the School Outreach Program to Holland, West Ottawa, and Zeeland Public Schools students despite the uncertainty of schools’ ability to contribute financially at the same levels they have in the past for these services. The funding will also support Mosaic’s ability to roll out new virtual support services for students, teachers, and parents, many of whom are experiencing increased mental health concerns right now.
This funding will assist Boys and Girls Club (BGC) with adding two part-time Youth Service Assistants to work with the social worker on staff. The staff social worker is currently serving all three BGC sites, so this funding will allow for a dedicated staff member on-site at the southside and northside locations. The Youth Service Assistants will serve as point persons for coordinating counseling and mental health needs to make most strategic use of the social worker’s time and expertise. Combined, the three BCG locations serve nearly 1,800 children and teens, and 80% of club participants are children of color. Over 40% of club participants live in single parent households.
This funding will allow Beacon of Hope to increase hours for intake staff who field phone calls from people looking for help. Call volume has increased since the beginning of the pandemic, and connecting a potential client with a live person who can assess and triage their needs the first time they call is critical to ensuring that people receive the help they need during the window of opportunity when they are actively seeking it. Funding will also support Beacon of Hope’s counselors with additional training on best practices for telehealth counseling sessions and group therapy as they launched this option rapidly in the last few months.
We are pleased to share some exciting news about our Community Stabilization Fund. Recently, a select group of Herman Miller retirees approached CFHZ about providing a match to donations made to the fund up to $4,100. They also approached Herman Miller Cares who agreed to match another $5,000 in donations to the fund! Together, they will match any donations made by August 31 up to $9,100!
The idea was developed by Herman Miller retiree Joanie Reid, who said “I look at the very difficult current realities with eyes wide open, but want to avoid being immobilized by them, as I have sometimes been. We can act. We can make a difference. I know I can, and want, to do more to practice gratitude.”
Several of her fellow Herman Miller retirees joined her in matching gifts to the Community Stabilization Fund at CFHZ, including Tony Cortese, Deborah Exo, Deb Huizenga, Linda Milanowski, Jane Rohlck, Marty Ryan, Prescott Slee, Mike Swistak and Nelva Vogel. Inspired by the reaction of her peers, Joanie approached Herman Miller Cares and they enthusiastically offered to join in with another $5,000 toward the match.
Launched in May 2020, the Community Stabilization Fund is designed to set the stage for recovery from the far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal for the Community Stabilization Fund is to provide a vehicle for coordinated investments in our community on behalf of our Community’s Endowment resources and the resources of local individuals, families, and companies. The fund is designed to act swiftly, be flexible as new information emerges, and be targeted in its use across the various areas of need, taking into account the range of other supports that have come from public and private sources into our community. The fund focuses on three priority areas: financial stability, health, and education.
To date, $950,000 has been raised, including $200,000 of seed funding from our Community’s Endowment. The generous matching gift offer from the select group of Herman Miller retirees and Herman Miller Cares allows us to extend our reach as we work to help our community bounce forward from the challenges of recent months. We are so grateful for their investment in this work. Thank you, Herman Miller retirees and Herman Miller Cares!
Donate here (please be sure to write “Stabilization Community Match” in the comments section)
Learn more about the Community Stabilization Fund
Learn about our first and second ground grant distributions from the Community Stabilization Fund
Outdoor Discovery Center - ecoSystem Education Network
Macatawa Area Coordinating Council - Creating a Green Infrastructure Vision for the Macatawa Watershed
Ladder Homes - Housing Capacity Expansion
Goodwill Industries of West Michigan - Holland/Zeeland Career Training Center
Beacon of Hope - Building Campaign
The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area is pleased to announce the awarding of 17 grants totaling $568,604 from the Community’s Endowment in 2019.
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