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Mott Foundation grants $662,000 to support local services

For a second year in a row, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has made a series of special, year-end grants to help its home community of Genesee County address local needs for food, housing and utility assistance and other safety-net services. The nine grants, totaling $662,000, will be made to:

• Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee counties. Two grants totaling $112,000 to enable the North End Soup Kitchen to continue offering a second hot daily meal through 2011 and support a new daytime warming center in downtown Flint.

• Catholic Outreach of Flint. $100,000 to continue providing seriously ill children in Genesee County with medically related transportation through 2011.

• The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. $100,000 to offer low-cost, high-protein grocery items, such as meat and peanut butter, to area food pantries and to upgrade the Food Bank's inventory management system.

• Old Newsboys of Flint. $30,000 to provide area kids with coats and boots as protection against the cold winter weather.

• Resource Genesee. $50,000 to offer emergency services and transportation to Genesee County residents.

• The Salvation Army of Genesee County. $200,000 to assist county residents with rent and utility payments that will enable them to remain in their homes.

• Shelter of Flint Inc. $30,000 to update the homeless shelter's laundry and kitchen equipment and replace worn bedding and dining furniture.

• YWCA of Greater Flint. $40,000 to help support the organization's domestic violence shelter and services in Genesee County.

Genesee County, like many communities across the U.S., faces a number of economic challenges. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the county's unemployment rate stands at 13.7 percent, compared to 9.8 percent nationally. Within the city of Flint, 25 percent of residents are unemployed and, according to the 2007 U.S. Census, about 35 percent live at or below federal poverty levels.

"In this difficult economic climate, people are struggling to keep their families fed, sheltered and safe," said William S. White, Mott Foundation president. "These grants cannot bring a permanent end to those challenges in Flint and Genesee County, but they will help to lift some of the financial and emotional burden for many local families, and offer them a measure of stability in the months ahead."

All eight organizations have received Mott support in the past, and four — Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties, the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, the Salvation Army of Genesee County and Shelter of Flint Inc. — received emergency year-end grants in 2009.

The new round of grants comes at a time when many local nonprofits are facing both growing need and limited resources. Chris Hamilton, executive director of the Old Newsboys of Flint, notes that Mott support will allow that organization to provide coats or boots to roughly 2,200 area children, more than doubling the number served last year.

"The need in Flint and Genesee County is greater than ever at this time," Hamilton said. "The Mott Foundation grant is a lifeline for our program this year and we're grateful to be able to help more kids than ever before."

Some of the new grants will help sustain year-round programs, such as the St. Christopher Children's Transportation program offered by Catholic Outreach of Flint. Mott support will help ensure that seriously ill youngsters get the medical treatment they need in the coming months, says Greg Berent, the organization's director.

"Because of a lack of funding, we recently considered the possibility of discontinuing some of the transport services altogether," he said. "This grant means that, throughout 2011, the program will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help area children get the medical attention they so desperately need."

Mott, established in 1926 by an automotive pioneer, is a private philanthropy committed to supporting projects that promote a just, equitable and sustainable society. It supports nonprofit programs throughout the U.S. and, on a limited geographic basis, internationally. Grant making is focused in four programs — civil society, environment, Flint area and pathways out of poverty. Besides Flint, offices are located in metropolitan Detroit, Johannesburg (South Africa) and London. The foundation, with 2009 year-end assets of about $2.1 billion, made 469 grants totaling $109.3 million.

Visit Mott.org for more information.

(Note: This report is provided as a service to our readers and a service to the group or individual mentioned in the release. Usually, only minor editing is done. The group or individual is responsible for all information provided.)

 

 

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