Human Services, Health Organizations and Transit Receive a Majority of Kresge's Nearly $73 Million in First Quarter Grants
The Salvation Army USA, provides food, shelter, clothing, utility assistance, after-school programs and other neighborhood-related needs. To coordinate these efforts, it has divided the nation into four territories: East, West, South and Central. Kresge has awarded the Central Territory (headquartered in Des Plaines, Illinois) and the Southern Territory (headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia) each a $1 million grant for construction of needed facilities in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Memphis, Tennessee.
A $500,000 award went to Pisgah Legal Services of Ashville, North Carolina. The office has been coordinating a network of 300 volunteer attorneys who provide free civil legal assistance to low-income and vulnerable people for 30 years, including disadvantaged children, seniors on fixed incomes, the abused, homeless and disabled.
"We are trying to help strong organizations do more of what they do best - work on the front lines of human suffering to meet the basic human needs of adults and children," says Rip Rapson, president of the Kresge Foundation. "For these organizations and so many others, the economic crisis means that their clientele is increasing while their charitable support is decreasing. Philanthropy can't provide any silver bullets, but we can try to provide some ballast where it is most needed and can best be used."
Health: Cleaner air, better outcomes
Approximately $6.7 million was awarded to organizations that advance Kresge's twin health priorities: fostering good health by addressing harmful environmental and social factors and increasing access to high-quality health care for low-income adults and children.
Improving air quality was the focus of two grants: a $950,000 award to the University of Southern California for its Trade, Health and Environment Impact Project, and a $450,000 award to the Oakland, California-based Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment and its Bay Area Environmental Health Collaborative. Both grants support cutting-edge work to reduce diesel-related air pollution in the port vicinities of Los Angeles, Long Beach and the Bay Area.