U.S. Venture Open partnership awards new grants in greater Green Bay addressing root causes of poverty

August 7, 2018 – The Basic Needs Giving Partnership of the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation awarded more than $825,000 to initiatives addressing root causes of poverty in the greater Green Bay area. This partnership is a collaboration that includes the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs, the J. J. Keller Foundation and regional community foundations, including the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation.

More than half a million in new grant dollars were awarded to programs addressing homelessness, mental health of the elderly and disabled, and resiliency in at-risk youth. Additionally, ongoing grant dollars were distributed for multi-year initiatives supporting mental health programming for youth, workforce opportunities for the underemployed in rural Oconto County, and long-term supportive housing options for the homeless in Brown County.

New Grants:

Responding Together to Homelessness in Brown County – $125,000 over three years
The initiative is led by the Brown County Homeless & Housing Coalition, made up of nearly 40 partnering organizations with a mission to provide leadership in the development, advocacy, and coordination of community strategies to prevent and end homelessness. Funds will support a dedicated resource – a system navigator and leader – to focus on the coalition’s mission and objectives: address an inadequate supply of emergency and supportive housing options in Brown County, provide a common voice in teaching and advocacy, and align committees, resources, and communications.

Improving Mental Health for Low-Income Older Adults & Adults with Disabilities – $151,415 over three years
In a coordinated response to unmet mental health needs for low-income older adults and adults with disabilities in Brown County, Foundations Health & Wholeness will embed a resident clinician at the Aging & Disability Resource Center to provide outreach and casual support. The initiative will work to build rapport and screen for mental health concerns and will provide individual and group mental health counseling, community educational services, and intensive clinical supervision and training.

Resiliency-Based Program for Youth – $273,000 over three years
Led by the School District of Algoma in partnership with the UW-Green Bay Social Work Program, St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran School and St. Mary’s Catholic School, this year-round resiliency program for at-risk youth in the Algoma community engages youth as leaders and includes targeted group activities focused on social and emotional learning. A lack of formal mental health services necessitates an increase in early intervention and low-intensity support geared toward improving social and emotional skills in youth. These programs are designed to develop those skills, which in turn foster emotional well-being overall and reduce social isolation.

Ongoing Grants:

Youth Mental Health Matters – $300,000 over three years
Led by the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Green Bay, this initiative brings counseling professionals and students in training into the Boys & Girls Club to connect with high-need populations in a trusted and accessible setting.

Pathway to Self-Sufficiency – $300,000 over three years
This initiative increases the capacity of the Ecumenical Partnership for Housing to assist families in need of long-term supportive housing, including guidance to self-sufficiency.

Community Resource Empowerment Program – $236,500 over three years
This expansion of a pilot program led by New Beginnings Work & Training Center works with individuals disconnected from the workforce, deficient in basic skills, underemployed, or in need of post-secondary education attainment.

About the U.S. Venture Open
The 33rd Annual U.S. Venture Open is scheduled for tomorrow, August 8, 2018. This unique golf outing raises funds to end poverty by partnering with three regional Community Foundations, including the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation. In the past 32 years, more than $24 million has been granted through this partnership to projects and programs to impact the lives of thousands in Northeast Wisconsin.