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Community foundation tackles homelessness, infant mortality, more with special project grants

Scott Streble Facebook

The Community Foundation of St. Joseph County has announced nearly $500,000 in grants to local groups for next year.

Homelessness, infant mortality and school absenteeism are three of the problems the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County will target next year with grants to local groups.

The foundation Monday announced grants totaling $455,000 to six nonprofits.

The largest grant, for $125,000, will go to the Center for the Homeless. It will be used to renovate the center’s Community Partners Building. The building houses, among other things, their Early Childhood Intervention and Jobs, and Training and Education Centers.

The foundation also is giving $125,000 to the Women’s Care Center to build a new location in Mishawaka at Lincolnway and Cedar Street. The city is donating the land. The new building will more than double the Women’s Care Center’s current Mishawaka location, which is in a converted house on Lincolnway across from The 100 Center.

The Boys and Girls Club is receiving $75,000 to start a pilot program at Harrison Elementary School. The initiative aims to reduce chronic absenteeism and improve academic outcomes for students in grades Kindergarten through 5th.

The other grants include $55,000 to Clubhouse of St. Joseph County, which helps people with mental illness, to start a new education and employment development program; $50,000 to Unity Gardens in South Bend to help it grow its Educational Expansion Program; and $25,000 to Neighbor 2 Neighbor, to train volunteers to help welcome international refugees and asylum seekers.

Parrott, a longtime public radio fan, comes to WVPE with about 25 years of journalism experience at newspapers in Indiana and Michigan, including 13 years at The South Bend Tribune. He and Kristi live in Granger and have two children currently attending Indiana University in Bloomington. In his free time he enjoys fixing up their home, following his favorite college and professional sports teams, and watching TV (yes that's an acceptable hobby).