On February 21st, the HIF Board of Directors awarded more than $500k in grant dollars to #22 Montgomery County-serving nonprofits. These grant dollars are focused on ensuring that all members of Montgomery County receive high-quality, comprehensive, and equitable health and wellness services in the communities where they live.
Due to the vast need in our community, the Board of Trustees was committed now so more than ever to investments that built collaboration and cross-sectoral coordination within the Foundation’s strategic priority areas to have the greatest community impact. This year, more than 80% of the awarded grant dollars will be supporting the historically under-served zip codes in the county.
More than $176K is being invested in healthcare access and navigation services to mitigate the health disparities in our community. WUMCO Help and American Red Cross are expanding services and care to historically underserved communities. JSSA, CaringMatters, Family Services’ Thriving Germantown program, and CCACC are providing care navigation resources for seniors, families, and patients managing cancer treatments and chronic diseases. Jewish Council for the Aging is bringing their Kensington Club model to Germantown for the first time ever, expanding vital services for our aging population.
$98K will support specialty care services in Montgomery County. Both American Diversity Group and the Maryland Foundation of Dentistry will be providing free dental services to those who would otherwise not be able to access or afford this specialty care service. Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind and Prevention of Blindness Society will continue their efforts to ensure that students within the 27 Community Schools in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) are provided eye exams following their Department of Health and Human Services screenings. Students who require them receive two free prescription eyeglasses. We know from longitudinal research that this successful health intervention has a tremendous impact on a child’s confidence and academic success and the Foundation is excited to move this project to scale.
Knowing the critical demand for behavioral and mental health services in our community, particularly for our youth, HIF is dedicating $85K to #4 nonprofit partners focusing on mental health and wellness. Community Bridges, Crittenton Services, and Our Minds Matter will continue their work engaging MCPS youth to build their wellness and resiliency. Warrior Canine Connection, and their partnership with The Cohen Veterans Clinic at Easter Seals, will impact the military and veteran community using their Mission Based Trauma Recovery model and service dogs. In conjunction with the $85K in this cycle, in July 2022, HIF awarded $75k to Identity, Inc. to develop a proof-of-concept pilot—Trauma-Informed Eco-System—at Magruder and Seneca Valley High Schools.
$70K will be supporting #4 nonprofits to address food insecurity in the County – AfriThrive, American Muslim Senior Society, Yad Yehuda of Greater Washington, and Community FarmShare. These investments will increase access to culturally important healthy, affordable, and nutritious meals. HIF recognizes food insecurity as a social determinant of health that impacts our community’s health outcomes. It is critical that these awards closely align with existing systems in the County, centered around meeting the needs of our diverse community, and scaled the work of the Foundation’s existing food partners. In the last 5 months, HIF has also awarded a combined $85k to Nourish Now and Manna Food Center to address access to food items post-federal COVID recovery aid and to scale access to fresh and local produce to community-based organizations and the food distribution hubs.
Lastly, to address the need for a qualified healthcare workforce, HIF will award $75K to AsylumWorks, Meals on Wheels of Takoma Park, and EveryMind to provide paid internships and fellowship opportunities to HIF social work student scholars. These partnerships will concurrently support the social work workforce pipeline, connect scholars to nonprofits and potential employers, and scale the availability of behavioral health services to our community members. When you include the $1M 5-year installment to The Universities at Shady Grove and Montgomery College, the FY23 total Healthcare Workforce investment is $275K.
The HIF Board of Trustees and staff are immensely proud of the work being done each day by our partners. We know we cannot fund every application that comes to us, but we appreciate all the time and energy that went into each thoughtful project. The HIF team welcomes conversations throughout the year to talk about the Foundation’s strategic priorities and grant award guidelines. Parties can reach out to Jess Fuchs, Director of Grants and Community Impact, to learn more.