AKRON, Ohio – The Women’s Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation recently awarded $72,050 to 11 nonprofit organizations that improve life for Summit County’s women and girls. This latest round of grants was ratified by Akron Community Foundation’s board on Feb. 21 at its quarterly meeting.
Among this year’s funding priorities were health and wellness, safety from violence, and economic empowerment for local women and girls. Nearly half of the grant funding supported programs for women who are transitioning out of homelessness, including a $10,000 grant to Bridges Summit County for its Getting Ahead program. During this 16-week program, participants examine what keeps them in poverty, assess their existing resources, and develop a plan to build those resources as part of their move to self-sufficiency.
The grant will help women living in transitional housing units, such as ACCESS, Legacy III, Harvest Home and Freedom House for Women, where they have access to the basic building blocks for success, including food, clothing, shelter, and mental health and addiction counseling. This funding will provide them with the next layer of tools, including career assessment and counseling, financial literacy, conflict resolution and stress management training. The goal is to help women make the giant leap from survival to stability.
Donae Ceja, senior vice president of community impact for the United Way of Summit County, the fiscal sponsor for Bridges, thanked the Women’s Endowment Fund for supporting an important collaboration for women. “This grant allows for the services of these sheltering agencies to be leveraged by a new, robust Getting Ahead program, providing the best chance for these women to break the cycle of generational poverty,” she said. “As a new model, it also has the potential to inform the entire Getting Ahead effort.”
The following is a full list of organizations receiving Women’s Endowment Fund grants: