Ruth Mott Foundation awards $1.5 million in new and continuing grants

Grants will support youth, safety, economic opportunity, neighborhoods in north Flint

FLINT, Michigan, July 31, 2017 – The Ruth Mott Foundation Board of Trustees has approved over $1.5 million in new and continuing grants to support programs designed to improve the quality of life for residents in north Flint.

The most recent grants, approved in June, bring the total grants awarded so far in 2017 to nearly $3.5 million.

The grants have been awarded to programs in the areas of youth, public safety, economic opportunity and neighborhoods, which were the top priorities that north Flint residents told the Foundation to focus on as it sought community feedback in forming its north Flint strategy.

Included in the funding is $150,000 from the Foundation’s Flint Water Crisis Fund awarded to Genesee Health System for the continued operation of a mobile unit that brings comprehensive mental health counseling services to more easily accessible neighborhood locations as Flint continues to recover from the water crisis.

In all, 21 grants totaling $1,567,772 were approved:

YOUTH

African Drum and Dance Parents Association: $60,000 over three years to provide general operating support to this youth development program that provides culturally relevant, arts-based afterschool and summer programming focused on traditional West African drum and dance.

Eastside Compassionate Mission Center: $25,805 for the 2017 Empowering through Employment program, which provides a 10-week job training and summer employment program to 24 north Flint youth, ages 13-18. The program will also provide weekly hands-on literacy learning for 48 north Flint children, ages 5-9.

Flint Cultural Center Corp.: $33,162 for one year for the Youth Usher Corps employment program, which also includes financial literacy workshops. The funding will also support science programs at Sloan/Longway for north Flint children enrolled in Head Start.

Flint Institute of Music: $125,000 for one year for Tapology, a program that provides afterschool outreach and tap dance classes for youth. In a new addition to the program for 2017, Tapology will also hire several north Flint youth to perform office tasks and other duties for the summer.

Flint Institute of Music: $95,156 for one year for north Flint community outreach, consisting of youth development out of school time through music and dance programs for children and families through the Flint School of Performing Arts.

GST Michigan Works: $54,000 for one year for the Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates program, which provides young people facing multiple barriers to education and employment with learning supports, job training and job shadowing experiences.

Kentakee Athletic and Social Clubs: $44,656 for the 2017 Berston Bicycle Club Project, which teaches youth ages 10-18 problem solving, teamwork, preparedness and timeliness through bicycle safety lessons and group rides. Youth who complete the program receive a new bicycle, helmet, lights, bike bag, reflective vest, bike lock and tire patches.

Project SYNcERE: $44,400 for one year for STEMNETICS, a program that provides 3rd-8th grade students with learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering, arts and math in order to improve academic performance in math and science.

Sphinx Organization: $95,000 for one year for Sphinx Overture, a music education and youth development program at all four north Flint public elementary schools: Doyle Ryder, Brownell, Holmes and Potter. It will also provide scholarships, private lessons, summer camp tuition and other programming for north Flint students.

SAFETY

City of Flint: $156,604 for one year for enhanced blight elimination efforts and improved code enforcement through a new staff position and a comprehensive code enforcement strategy review. The City will also establish a two-tiered system to resolve code violations through the Administrative Hearings Bureau.

Crime Stoppers of Flint and Genesee County: $80,040 for a one-year comprehensive informational and educational campaign for residents related to crime “hotspots” in the northeast quadrant of the city of Flint. The project will consist of monthly presentations and handouts as well as public service announcements on TV, social media, billboards and radio.

ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY

MADE Institute: $55,000 for one year for the EPIK (Empowering People through Innovation and Knowledge) program, including funds to renovate a donated home in north Flint to serve as a transitional living facility for six people returning to the community from incarceration.

Re-Connections: $20,000 for one year to provide job training, financial literacy training and life coaching to formerly incarcerated men who have been convicted of a felony.

United Way of Genesee County: $50,000 for one year for Flint SOUP, a community-based micro grant platform that supports creative concepts for startup companies through crowdfunding and collaboration. The funding is to facilitate entrepreneurial activities in north Flint that empower residents to move their ideas forward into the startup phase.

University of Michigan: $40,000 for the 2017 North Flint Unemployment Insurance Project, which trains first-year law students how to advocate for unemployed workers in job training programs who have been denied unemployment benefits, and to offer advice and advocacy for those seeking unemployment insurance benefits. In 2016, the program served 99 north Flint residents with a 93 percent success rate.

NEIGHBORHOODS

CPSA Courier: $51,690 for one year to support operation of the Courier newspaper, a north Flint publication that serves as a resource and connector for residents, neighborhood groups and organizations.

Flint Development Center

Evergreen Community Development Initiative: $150,000 for one year to support the Flint Development Center, a new north Flint neighborhood hub that opened in June and offers a variety of recreational activities and enrichment programming for residents.

Genesee County Habitat for Humanity: $75,000 for the 2017 Target Neighborhood Repair program to help low-income homeowners in north Flint neighborhoods complete critical repair projects and avoid foreclosure.

Metro Community Development: $122,259 for 18 months to support the operation of the Neighborhood Engagement Hub, a community center in north Flint that provides space and resources for residents. The hub also serves as a Flint Police Neighborhood Service Center.

FLINT WATER

Genesee Health System: $150,000 for two years of support to provide ongoing services in response to the Flint water crisis, including a mobile mental health counseling unit, door-to-door outreach and support for caregivers suffering from burnout and fatigue. The program is designed to ease the anxiety and post-traumatic stress brought on by the water crisis.

OTHER

Michigan League for Public Policy: $40,000 for one year for the MLPP to build on its work with community organizations and resident groups to help them identify and use data and information about the City of Flint to support beneficial policy changes.

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