St. Joe Foundation awards more than $700,000 in grants

The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation is investing more than $700,000 in local nonprofits and grassroots organizations that work with low-income and vulnerable residents. 

The Board of Directors recently approved the latest round of grants, bringing the total number of grants awarded since January 1, 2022 to 53. The total amount of funds awarded since the Foundation’s beginning in 1998 is $24,528,636. 

“We continue to see too many lower-income families in our community struggling with basic needs.   We are seeing increased demand for low-cost nutritious food, affordable and culturally centered mental health services in our community, as well as a growing need for humanitarian legal services to support immigrants and refugees,” says Meg Distler, St. Joe Foundation executive director. “Our staff, grants committee, and Board of Directors have spent a lot of time learning about these and other important community issues and we believe the grants will offer both short-term and longer-term solutions for addressing them.” 

The majority of grants awarded since January 2022 are part of the spring grant cycle, which just concluded. Those grants total $660,160 and address needs in four impact areas: Prenatal & Infant Care, Nutrition & Food Insecurity, Access to Quality, Affordable Healthcare, and Refugees & Immigrants. 

Another $40,350 was awarded to non-profits and churches who will offer the Our HEALing Kitchen cooking and nutrition classes, as well as several smaller “mini-grants” to grassroots organizations. 

Spring 2022 grants: 

  • Alive Community Outreach: $5,000 for work to cultivate a community of nonviolence. 
  • Amani Family Services: $100,000 (two-year grant) for the Multicultural Family Justice Center, which will support immigrant and refugee families in overcoming physical, emotional, and justice-related issues through direct clinical services and community collaborations.  
  • Bienestar Sin Fronteras: $25,000 to address and minimize disparities of mental health access to the uninsured, under-served Latino population. 
  • Catherine Kasper Place: $30,000 for strategic planning about how to build a collaborative, sustainable system for providing affordable immigration legal resources in the community.  
  • Catholic Charities: $50,760 for one full-time paralegal/immigration specialist to assist Afghan Evacuees seeking Asylum, Special Immigration Visa, or applying to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. 
  • Courageous Healing: $35,000 to help offset the cost of providing culturally centered counseling services for low-income individuals and families, and to support a portion of operations necessary to meet the increasing demand for mental health services. 
  • Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana: $30,000 to re-open and operate Easterseals Arc’s on-site health clinic located at the agency’s headquarters building on Coldwater Road.  
  • Fort Wayne Clubhouse/The Carriage House: $50,000 (two-year grant) to help individuals recover from serious mental illness by providing hope, meaning, purpose, and opportunity. 
  • GiveHear: $40,000 (two-year grant) to support hearing healthcare clinics for the underserved in the Fort Wayne area. 
  • Headwaters Counseling: $50,000 to provide necessary and high-quality mental health services to the poor and underserved at the Headwaters Counseling facility and at designated outreach facilities. 
  • HealthVisions Midwest Fort Wayne: $54,000 to operate HEAL Farm Markets serving residents in low-income, low-access (food desert) areas of Fort Wayne. Funding also provides a dollar-for-dollar match on all WIC and Senior produce vouchers. (HEAL Markets are also supported by Parkview Health.)  
  • Hope Alive: $20,000 for mental health counseling services to help clients heal from mental illness, including depression, anxiety, and complex trauma. 
  • Lutheran Agency for Missions to Burmese: $10,000 for medical advocacy and health promotion for Burmese residents. 
  • New Mercies Ministries: $25,000 to support the position of a Family Coach Manager. 
  • Northeast Indiana Positive Resource Connection: $25,000 to support free HIV and Hepatitis C testing, access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for high-risk HIV-negative individuals, and linkage to care and case management services to persons living with HIV/AIDS. 
  • Out of a Jam: $15,000 to empower at-risk young adults to learn job skills, rescue food from the waste stream, and repurpose the food into high-quality, nutritious meals for the hungry as part of the Feeding Fort Wayne initiative.  
  • River of Life Christian Fellowship: $10,400 for equipment needed to support the HEAL Markets, which provide access to fresh fruits and vegetables in local food deserts.  
  • Safe Families for Children Alliance: $10,000 to prevent child abuse and provide basic needs assistance, hosting, family coaching, and mentoring to low-income children and families. 
  • Society of St. Vincent DePaul: $15,000 for the food pantry program at multiple locations throughout Allen County. 
  • St. Joseph Missions: $20,000 to help provide emergency shelter for homeless women. 
  • Wellspring Interfaith Social Services: $20,000 for the on-site food pantry and Wellspring on Wheels mobile food pantry. 
  • Youth for Christ: $20,000 (two-year grant) to support City Life, which serves urban teens living in south Fort Wayne.