Minnesota Community Foundation and Saint Paul Foundation Commit $2 Million to Launch Economic Relief Fund
July 9, 2009 — In response to the economic downturn, the Minnesota Community Foundation and the Saint Paul Foundation have announced a new community economic relief fund with commitments of more than $2 million.
The foundations, which have worked collaboratively since 2007, are funding strategic projects with specific nonprofits that have the capacity to reach thousands of people across the state who are in need of support. "The economic downturn has had a broad and deep impact on Minnesotans," said Carleen Rhodes, president of the foundations. "Many people who have never before struggled with homelessness or hunger are now facing the same issues as traditionally low-income populations."
To date, the foundations have awarded more than $800,000 through the fund to agencies working in the areas of hunger relief, housing stability, and financial counseling and assistance. Current partners include the Emergency Foodshelf Network, Hunger Solutions Minnesota, Second Harvest Heartland, the Family Place, the Home Ownership Center, and AccountAbility Minnesota. In the future, the fund will also partner with organizations that focus on health care, mental health, and jobs and training.
"We wanted to expedite getting money into the community," said John Couchman, vice president of grants and program at the foundations. "So rather than using the traditional process of inviting organizations to apply for grants, we partnered with specific groups to identify and fund projects that build the capacity of systems that respond to people in need."