Responsibility Report Entires

Displaying 1 - 13 of 13

Lexington Rescue Mission

Roof Replacement

No

The quotes we received for the grant showed that the project would cost $15,000, but our contractor was actually able to complete it under budget for $13,569.98. Should we send you a check for the portion we didn't use for the project ($1,430.02)?

In our initial grant proposal, we noted that we had been seeing a surge of guests coming to our Outreach Center who are living unsheltered on the streets. At that time, we expanded our homeless outreach services to include breakfast and lunch six days a week, mail service, laundry service, and daytime shelter for anyone who needs a safe place to rest.

At that time, we couldn't have projected that the lingering effects of the pandemic, coupled with the rising costs of food and housing, would also substantially increase the number of vulnerable people in the greater Lexington area. For example, in 2022, we served 57,889 meals (compared to 46,543 in 2021); we clothed 1,270 people in need (compared to 837 in 2021); we placed 146 people in jobs (compared to 97 in 2021); and we moved 90 adults and 25 children out of homelessness and into homes (compared to 70 adults and 15 children in 2021). In addition, last year 3,065 people experienced homelessness in Fayette County. Of these, 1,712 were homeless for the very first time. Our Street Outreach team worked with these individuals and families and encouraged them to come to our Outreach Center for more extensive care to meet their needs.

All of these services happen at our Outreach Center, which was experiencing significant leakages in our 18-year-old roof. By providing a new roof, you provided a safe, warm, dry and comfortable place for thousands of people to come to receive assistance with their immediate needs, as well as support to move out of poverty.

We learned that the condition of the building in which the programs take place is very important. Most of our clients are hurting and in some sort of crisis. In our case, when they came into a building where the roof was leaking and the floors were wet, that added to their feeling of not being valued. Now that they can come into a welcoming environment, it immediately puts them at ease and lets them know we do value them and want to offer them the best help and experience possible. Plus, rather than dealing with leaks and the clean-up that entails, our staff can now focus on the client in front of them, rather than the chaos around them.

We are so grateful to KSWF for your compassion of the most vulnerable in our community. The need is great, and we are thankful that you partner in meaningful ways that truly help people.

The process of working with KSWF has been easy. You have answered our questions and given us time to work through this project. We are so grateful for your assistance.

Entry Notes

Housing Development Alliance, Inc.

Roof for Affordable Housing Storage Warehouse

Yes

With limited space in our garage, the Housing Development Alliance realized the need for a large storage facility to house donated materials, equipment, and supplies. From supply chain issues, to rising costs (brought on by the pandemic and inflation), to extreme weather events, we knew that having a proper storage facility not only made great practical sense, but that it would also play a key role in helping us serve our community. Of course, at the time, we never imagined just how important this storage facility would become!

On July 28th, our region experienced a 1,000-year flood, with 3 of the 4 counties we serve being hardest hit. In the immediate aftermath, over 4,800 people reported being in need of shelter, and the number of homes majorly damaged or destroyed rose into the thousands. With the majority of people affected being low-income, we knew that affordable housing would become the region's chief post-flood need, especially since those who lost their homes could not afford to replace the home they had. Donations of residential construction materials - lumber, cabinets, flooring, drywall, shingles, etc. - began coming in from all over the country, and with winter approaching, our new storage warehouse would have to house and protect nearly all of it.

Though our project was a bit delayed (due to our need to shift focus rapidly and help our community recover from the flood disaster), your funding was critical in helping us put a new roof on our warehouse so that we'd have a good, secure, spacious place to store much needed materials. Once our subcontractor, Southeast KY Insulation, was available to work with us following their own flood relief efforts, your money purchased the roofing materials needed to get our warehouse ready for all the work that lay ahead. Thanks to you, we were able to purchase the decking and single-ply membrane we needed to frame and finish the roof and make it energy efficient! The roofing materials you purchased for us were easy to install, less expensive, and will last at least 30 years.

In addition to giving us ample storage space, the newly roofed warehouse also protects crucial items from the elements and prevents theft. After the flood, looting was a major issue in our area, and we had the unfortunate experience of having several sheets of OSB (which is extremely expensive right now) stolen from one of our worksites. Now, instead of our carpenters having to come up with creative ways to conceal construction materials on-site, they have a place to keep them, where they can load up each morning and unload each evening. Also, with the incredible amount of space offered by the warehouse, we've been able to offer more off-site instruction time to our interns in the Hope Building Program.

The generosity of the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation has made it possible for us to serve nearly 70 families in the first 5 months after the flood (keep in mind that we typically help around 100 families in an entire year!), because the storage warehouse helped us respond quickly and get materials out to sites in a more timely and efficient manner. So far, we have helped save 49 homes, helped move 1 family into rental housing, fully rehabbed 10 homes, and have 10 new homes for flood survivors in construction! As we move into 2023, recovery efforts will continue alongside our normal workflow in our affordable housing programs, which has led us to expand our construction crews from 5 to 10. That brings an even greater need for our warehouse, since we'll need to store twice the amount of tools and materials as we double our capacity!

You can't plan for everything, and that's certainly something that was driven home for us this year! Our main goals are to provide an affordable housing solution to 1,000 low-income families in this decade alone and to build a brighter future for our community through affordable housing. The historic and disastrous flood of July 28, 2022 exacerbated the problematic issues around housing in our area, and in addition, created new problems. Our plan had been to start roofing our warehouse on August 1, but once the flood hit, everyone's plans in this area of Eastern Kentucky had to change.

In order to meet the needs of our community, we had to completely revamp our business model. We stopped following our normal business model in August so that we could mobilize our crews to help with flood relief. Around 60-70% of our revenue comes from construction (new home builds and home rehabs), but we sacrificed that revenue in order to provide (free to the homeowner) flood relief services (muck outs, cleanup, mold remediation) for which we receive no funding. For the first 3 full months after the flood, we turned our focus to helping flood survivors. So, while we were continuing to help low-income and very low-income families in our community (marching towards that 1,000 families served goal), we were doing far more in flood relief & recovery than in specifically addressing affordable housing needs.

What we've learned is that you absolutely can't anticipate every obstacle. We try to plan ahead, see the big picture, and prepare for setbacks and challenges, but we must also learn to operate proactively (not reactively) in a world that is shifting sharply when it comes to climate and weather patterns. No matter the cause(s) for this shift, it is a reality, and going forward, we will have to make sure our affordable housing is flood resilient and/or built out of the floodplain. This will also require new construction methods and different materials. So, while our project got a late start, we did finish it on time, and this storage warehouse is helping us prepare for the future (by storing materials and having more of what we need before we even need it) in ways we may not have been able to before.

Improving the quality of life of rural people by expanding economic opportunities and ending generational poverty requires a complex solution. The reasons why a rural place like Eastern Kentucky experiences these same problems from decade to decade are complex. To us, it seems all too acceptable and normal to equate "rural" with "simple." Rural places are just as complicated as urban ones. With the vast majority of available funding going to urban areas, we'd like to see a stronger presence in the region by funders, like KSWF, interested in supporting rural nonprofits and communities. It's not that our people in Eastern Kentucky need to be studied, but they do need to be understood and the issues they face must be understood along with all of their nuances. If we receive funding again in the future from KSWF, we'd love to have representatives from your agency visit us, see what we're doing, see why we needed your help, and spend time in the community we're trying to change for the better. This is not to say that KSWF doesn't already have a strong presence in Eastern Kentucky, but we would like the opportunity to expand on what you already know and understand about the region, which may open up further areas of collaboration.

We'd very much like to commend KSWF staff for understanding the overwhelming challenges we faced following the July 28th flood. Our subcontractor, who was to help us frame and install the roof, was delayed at least a month as they - and we - tended to the extreme and immediate needs of our community. At first, we feared having to request a grant extension, but luckily, that ended up not being necessary. KSWF staff was quick to respond and advise us, which made an incredibly stressful situation far less so. Effective communication is so important during the grant cycle, and we commend KSWF staff for their kindness, attentiveness, and willingness to help.

Entry Notes

WhitneyStrong Inc.

Rural Outreach Project

Yes

The Kentucky Social Welfare Fund provided dollars to Whitney/Strong to travel to areas of rural Kentucky to expand the reach of Whitney/Strong’s work. W/S identified two locations in rural areas to begin their efforts: London and Paducah. In total, the W/S team spent 19 active hours building connections in these locations through meetings, shared meals, and social awareness events.

Funding was used to fund trips to Paducah and London, each with 3 team members for 2-3 days of meetings on each trip. In each of the locations, we had the opportunity to meet with community leaders and elected officials to discuss how Whitney/Strong can provide effective resources to their localities. As these trips represent W/S’s foray into rural Kentucky communities, the meetings were intended primarily to help our team understand local concerns re gun violence, openness to W/S’s mission of “finding common ground to reduce gun violence through data-driven responsible gun ownership solutions” and potential interest in future partnerships that would support bringing W/S’s Save A Life Program to these and other rural communities.

In London, our State Policy & Engagement Coordinator worked with a local contact to set up a series of meeting that included Tommy Tapscott, the Executive Director of Laurel River Baptist Association; Jackie Steele, the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Laurel and Knox counties; Gary Bryant, a community leader, youth mentor, and volunteer with numerous organizations; Meau Jones, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Education; and KY Senator Brandon Storm.

In Paducah, W/S’s Executive Director and Policy& Engagement Coordinator traveled with Aurora Vasquez, a representative of W/S’s partner, Sandy Hook Promise for more meetings and community events. The team met with Christina Ellegood, a survivor of the Heath High School shooting and then Mike Muscarella, Healthy Paducah Chair & Director of Ambulatory Services Baptist Health Paducah, spent a day guiding the team through Paduacah and introducing them and their work to a long list of leaders in government, medicine, nonprofits, and other interested stakeholders. Finally, W/S tabled at the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention “Suicide Prevention Walk” while in Paducah. Not only were team members able to engage a wide variety of community members and hear their personal stories, feelings, concerns, and hopes regarding gun violence, but W/S also gave out free gun locks to community members.

Internally, our team was exposed to the culture of these areas, which helps us understand sentiment for future programs and strategies. Our State Policy and Engagement Coordinator is currently in the process of networking with current and suggested connections from those we met on these trips and building community partners from these recent relationships that were created due to the generosity of the KSWF. In the next 6 months, we hope to have traveled back to these areas and begin programming and outreach within these areas.

Goals come with persistence and patience. We at W/S acknowledge that change will not occur overnight and we understood that in the current political and social climate, many people were likely to meet our organization with great skepticism or not. However, we went in with the genuine interest in the views held in these communities and respect for the strengths that they have. We found that this openness allowed us to reap positive outcomes with every handshake and conversation we held. We understand that not everyone will be receptive to our work. Breaking down walls is a slow process, and we are determined to educate others on the number of people dying by firearms, as it is our responsibility and mission. We strongly believe that true change will only come when we can work from the same belief that preserving our rights and protecting our children are not mutually exclusive goals.

Also, connections in rural areas are everything. Many of the meetings we scheduled were through the help of someone in each community that our team already knew. It only takes one individual to open you up to a whole population. We were fortunate to have Gary Bryant and Mike Muscarella take us under their wing and introduce us to their friends, colleagues, and neighbors.

This project only reaffirmed our belief that people with vastly different backgrounds and beliefs can still find common ground and shared interests when we can simply engage in conversation over a good meal. When asked this question by funders we always reply that the best way to advance the mission and goals of nonprofit organizations (other than funding!) is to bring them together with each other and the communities they serve. When we can share resources and ideas, programs can better meet the needs of those they are meant to serve and organizations can work more efficiently by sharing resources and prevent duplication of efforts.

We greatly appreciate Pam Holwerda’s prompt communication and patience with us as our project got off to a slow start as we worked to secure funding for essential personnel. We are so grateful for the opportunity to carry out this long-awaited goal and look forward to building on the contacts made and the brainstorming that it inspired.

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Entry Notes

Western Kentucky University

Kentucky Child Welfare Workforce Wellness Initiative

Yes

The Kentucky Child Welfare Workforce Wellness Initiative was a two-year funded project that sought to evaluate occupational job stress in a sample of frontline child welfare workers across the Two Rivers Region in south central Kentucky. While the stress associated with working in this position is inferred, and contributes to the high rates of detrimental turnover, no research has collected physiological health data on the impact of working in this position. The Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation’s financial support was a catalyst for securing the necessary wearable biometric analytic technology and electrodes that captured objective health data from these professionals throughout the project, a charger to quickly prepare the devices for utilization, the necessary supplies for the participants for the mindfulness-based intervention, and financial support toward an iPad. This novel project is shedding light on the chronic stress associated with working in this capacity and is informing advocacy efforts on a large scale. The contribution of the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation is a significant reason that this project was successful.

In addition to accomplishing the goals of the Kentucky Child Welfare Workforce Wellness Initiative (e.g., the objective evaluation of occupational stress and the facilitation of a mindfulness-based intervention), additional lessons were learned that might be applicable to others. Specifically, the multifaceted approach of actively involving contributing community partners in this project was essential. The Kentucky Child Welfare Workforce Wellness Initiative involved Western Kentucky University, LifeSkills, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation as contributing partners who were all focused on a common goal. An example of this partnership can be seen by the dedication to find additional funds when the original ask to the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation was received at a lesser amount. Given the mutually beneficial partnership and the vital support by the KSWF, the team was able to leverage that initial support by the KSWF and obtain the rest of the necessary funding in order to stay on track and achieve the milestones. The main lessons that could benefit others are establishing a team of partnering agencies who are focused on the same goals, who can share resources, time, and energy when needed to assure that the project is successful.

It has been an absolute pleasure and an honor to work with the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation and we are so thankful for their support for this project and the many others that they support. Related to advice, our team has no advice to provide at this time due to the effective and efficient nature of this process. Again, it was a pleasure.

Our team would like to provide a sincere thank you to the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation for their significant support, and especially commend them for their patience and flexibility. The KSWF’s contribution is a main reason that this innovative project was successful. Further, our team obtained financial support from an additional source to facilitate this comprehensive two-year project (CHFS- Kentucky Medicaid) and the KSWF accommodated our request to wait to distribute their funds until the approval of our process with CHFS. This meaningful approach helped us to align our efforts and stay on track, and clearly aligns with the essence of the purpose of the KSWF- “to assist in improving standards of living and opportunity among the poor, sick, unfortunate and vocationally handicapped persons residing in the State of Kentucky, particularly in rural areas, small towns and areas of special need, by helping to provide for them and their dependents, well organized and administered welfare and health agencies and other facilities, including demonstrations of progressive and effective methods, for self-help and training.” Simply, we were navigating different timeframes, multiple applications across multiple funding sources, and your flexibility and patience was critical. No improvements are recommended.

Entry Notes

Hands Healing Hearts

Kentucky, Meet Iceland: A Proposal for Substance Abuse Prevention and the Arts in Franklin County

Yes

Please see attached PDF.

Please see attached PDF.

Please see attached PDF.

Please see attached PDF.

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Entry Notes

Life Adventure Center

Resilience Building for Youth Affected by Covid-19 Related Trauma

Yes

We were able to provide programming to one main partner group, Mentors and Meals, including mobile units, an overnight retreat, and three half day programs on-site at Life Adventure Center. We were able to offer mobile units to two additional organizations, Mary Todd Elementary and Chrysalis House.

It would have been more efficient for us to already have a partner group or school in mind before writing the grant, but it's tricky to do so without knowing what possible funding exists. Moving forward we would maybe have already had an MOU in place or at least a proposal to guarantee we could do what we hoped to accomplish.

Help connect us to groups who we could serve!

Just clearer timelines about when reporting is expected so we can be better prepared.

Entry Notes

WhitneyStrong Inc.

Rural Outreach Project

No

With the omicron variant of Covid-19 peaking in Kentucky just as our project timeline was beginning in January 2022, Whitney/Strong (W/S) pushed back much of the travel that we intend to do for the Rural Outreach Project. However, we are still making progress and are excited to start having in-person meetings with potential organizational partners over the next few months. In February, Whitney/Strong added a Legislative Intern, Emily Wiley, to our team (soon to be added in a policy-focused staff role). Ms. Wiley, a graduate of Morehead State University, who was born and raised in Eastern Kentucky will play a large role in helping W/S build connections in more rural areas of Kentucky and making introductions to student and non-profit organizations aligned with W/S's mission of reducing gun violence through common ground, data-driven solutions.

Now that Covid restrictions and risks have waned, W/S is looking ahead to several meetings across the state between Executive Director Whitney Austin, Ms. Wiley, W/S Save A Life Program Manager Nea Cloyd and potential partners such as Healthy Paducah, student groups at Morehead State University, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in Carollton, and aligned organizations in London, KY.

While the majority of the travel funded by this grant will take place between now and the close of this grant, the grant has already allowed three members of the Whitney Strong team, who work from Louisville, Lexington, and Morehead, to come together in Frankfort with members of the Sandy Hook Promise organization to discuss regional partners with whom we can connect, areas of Kentucky on which we should focus first, challenges and strategies for reaching our target audience. Perhaps the most valuable part of this time together was allowing Ms. Wiley an opportunity to share the feedback she hears from communities in Morehead and the surrounding area that relates to the Whitney/Strong mission and programs.

As an organization committed to finding common ground rather than further enflaming divisive discourse, this meeting produced a clear need for messaging focused on the impact of firearm suicide, which is much more prevalent across Kentucky, than firearm homicides. W/S was also able to hear valuable community feedback that helps us understand how we can explain our shared goals with Eastern Kentuckians without unintentionally feeding the possible negative assumptions about our purpose.

When Whitney/Strong planned and proposed its Rural Outreach Project, our primary goal was to identify and learn from Kentuckians across the state, of varying political backgrounds, ethnicities, and gun ownership status in order to find consensus around mission-related topics and build a grassroots coalition that speaks with a louder and more united voice to our representatives. Our work so far on this project has confirmed what we suspected so far: while there are great divides between rural and urban Kentuckians, we can learn so much from each other about how to have productive conversations and set our differences apart to address our shared concerns.

Simply put, the lesson that Whitney/Strong continues to learn and that we urge others to focus on is that taking time to listen and understand is essential to progress.

Whitney/Strong is so appreciative of funders such as KSWF that look to strengthen the commonwealth as a whole. As a Louisville-based organization, we are aware that Louisville, and other communities in Kentucky, can be viewed as being separate or even foreign to other Kentuckians. Therefore, our advice for a funder such as KSWF, with statewide grant partners, would be to foster more community among current and past grantees. This would allow organizations across the state to build stronger partnerships, avoid redundancies, and provide support across regions and sectors of the nonprofit world.

At Whitney/Strong we have been very pleased with the responsiveness and helpfulness of KSWF's staff. All questions have been answered promptly, clearly, and with an offer for further assistance, if needed. This accessibility and communication is greatly appreciated.

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Entry Notes

St John Center Inc

Permanent Supportive Housing Client Immediate Needs

Yes

Between June 1st and October 21st, 2021, SJC assisted twenty-five people with entering or maintaining permanent housing with the support of these funds. With help from the Kentucky Social Welfare Fund, four of these twenty-five people entered the Permanent Supportive Housing program and moved into apartments of their own. SJC also used this funding to assist twenty-one people with obtaining household supplies, apartment needs, and other everyday expenses.

Funding from KSWF ensured that SJC’s Permanent Supportive Housing Program achieved its goals this fiscal year. The program’s goals directly reflect the needs and experiences of the clients we serve.

One of the program’s primary goals is maintaining an 80% or higher retention rate within the program, meaning that 80% of program participants keep their housing for six or more months. Most clients in the program have been chronically homeless before entering housing, and the transition from homelessness to housing is difficult. Through providing apartment needs and furniture, SJC tries to smooth this transition by removing the worry about purchasing items for their new homes. Over the years, SJC has learned that providing these items eases clients’ worries and makes it easier to transition from homelessness to housing, thus ensuring the client has a better chance at retaining his housing.

SJC practices a Housing First approach and programming that incorporates trauma informed care, motivational interviewing, and client centered case management. These are best practices we share with other providers regularly.

St. John Center and KSWF share the goal of connecting individuals who have spent time in prison with opportunities to flourish in their communities. At St. John Center, we know that housing is a first step toward self-sufficiency, better health outcomes, better mental health outcomes, and recovery. As a result, we are a Housing First organization. We hope that funders like KSWF will continue to embrace Housing First supportive housing for people who are striving for self-sufficiency.

SJC is grateful for this opportunity to partner with KSWF in our shared goal to help the underserved in Kentucky. We appreciate the Foundation’s promptness and communication, and its willingness to fund programs that are vital to the most vulnerable people in our communities across the state.

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Entry Notes

Living Arts & Science Center

Pre-K Makerspace

Yes

With the generous support of the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation, the LASC science team was able to transform one of our rooms into a Pre-K Makerspace. The room is now a very engaging space where children and caregivers can play and explore all while gaining really important school readiness skills. We know that more than half of all children are not ready for school when they begin. We know that our new hands-on Pre-K Makerspace can help prepare those children and their families, while they are having fun.

The space has already been used in multiple ways, including for children under 5 years old attending our monthly Discovery Saturday activities. We have also maintained healthy practices and sanitation policies in order for the space to be enjoyed by our general daily visitors. We are most excited to begin using the space for a new monthly PreK STEM Day program to start in October. Attendees will hear a STEM-related children's book followed by a hands-on activity to stimulate their motor skills.

Our educators learned the educational tools that work best in the space are items the children can use in a variety of ways. For example, the Stand-Up Magnetic Design board can be used with the Magnet Gears and the whole array of Mix-Match Magnet Animals, Dinosaurs and Letters. Items that had one specific use were not as engaging to the children as items that had multiple uses and that they could explore with in a variety of ways.

Additionally, we learned a lot during the planning stage of this project as we visited the Kentucky Science Center in Louisville to share best practices. One idea we gained from them is to use a grocery store set-up that allows children to pick out items based on colors, quantity, etc. With your support, we have been able to create a smaller version of this learning scenario in the Makerspace.

We practice an open-door policy for all of our funders to visit and see their impact first-hand. It is important for building a partnership that can grow to help more children in the shared community.

We sincerely appreciate funders such as KSWF that keep their granting process simple. Some processes can be very tedious; causing us to wonder if the time spent on the process is worth the amount received. The process with KSWF is easy to follow and complete in a timely manner, which is especially important at a time when we are still short-staffed due to the pandemic.

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  • If relevant to your work under this grant, please attach photographs.
  • If relevant to your work under this grant, please attach photographs.
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Entry Notes

CHNK Behavioral Health/Children's Home of Northern Kentucky

Incorporating Therapeutic Recreation into Residential Treatment for Youth with Mental Health Disorders

Yes

Skills specific to circus arts can improve coordination, focus, patience, frustration tolerance, and goal orientation. They can also provide an environment for safe risk taking. Working closely with others for circus activities can increase collaboration, teamwork, communication, trust, and a sense of belonging. Thanks in part to the funding received from the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation and another private funder, CHNK was able to partner with Circus Mojo for two 12-week sessions of circus therapy. This allowed 26 clients in CHNK's residential treatment program to participate in circus therapy and also have the supplies needed to practice their newfound skills outside of the sessions (see line items marked in green on the uploaded budget report). CHNK therapists have noticed an increase in self-confidence in the youth who participated, as well as improved teamwork and communication skills. Some of the youth have used skills they learned during circus therapy as coping skills when they've needed to de-escalate in times of stress or anxiety.

Due to the cost of circus therapy and equine therapy, CHNK had hit the "pause" button on offering these therapeutic interventions in recent years. Seeing the positive impact that participating in such therapies has had on clients in recent months, however, has motivated the treatment team and development office to seek out more funding that could support these specific efforts. Finding creative ways for the clients in our care to engage in therapy but in a more exciting way than "traditional" in-office therapy will mean only good things for meeting their treatment goals and learning positive coping skills.

Providing funding ranges on the front end of the application process (e.g., "grant requests should be $20,000 or less" or "the average grant awarded is $5,000" etc.) helps nonprofit organizations better structure their requests so that they don't ask for an amount that is out of scope for the funder. This allows the nonprofit to better strategize around how many funders to seek for potential support of a specific initiative or goal.

This was the first grant opportunity we pursued with KSWF, and it was a very smooth, efficient process from end to end. Thank you for the support!

  • If relevant to your work under this grant, please attach photographs.
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Entry Notes

Living Arts and Science Center

Educational Tools for PreK Maker Space and PreK STEM Day

Yes

With the generous support of the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation, the LASC science team was able to transform one of our rooms into a Pre-K Makerspace. The room is now a very engaging space where children and caregivers can play and explore all while gaining really important school readiness skills. We know that more than half of all children are not ready for school when they begin. We know that our new hands-on Pre-K Makerspace can help prepare those children and their families, while they are having fun.

The space has already been used in multiple ways, including for children under 5 years old attending our monthly Discovery Saturday activities. We have also maintained healthy practices and sanitation policies in order for the space to be enjoyed by our general daily visitors. We are most excited to begin using the space for a new monthly PreK STEM Day program to start in October. Attendees will hear a STEM-related children's book followed by a hands-on activity to stimulate their motor skills.

Our educators learned the educational tools that work best in the space are items the children can use in a variety of ways. For example, the Stand-Up Magnetic Design board can be used with the Magnet Gears and the whole array of Mix-Match Magnet Animals, Dinosaurs and Letters. Items that had one specific use were not as engaging to the children as items that had multiple uses and that they could explore with in a variety of ways.

Additionally, we learned a lot during the planning stage of this project as we visited the Kentucky Science Center in Louisville to share best practices. One idea we gained from them is to use a grocery store set-up that allows children to pick out items based on colors, quantity, etc. With your support, we have been able to create a smaller version of this learning scenario in the Makerspace.

We practice an open-door policy for all of our funders to visit and see their impact first-hand. It is important for building a partnership that can grow to help more children in the shared community.

We sincerely appreciate funders such as KSWF that keep their granting process simple. Some processes can be very tedious, causing us to wonder if the time spent on the process is worth the amount received. The process with KSWF is easy to follow and complete in a timely manner, which is especially important at a time when we are still short-staffed due to the pandemic.

  • If relevant to your work under this grant, please attach photographs.
  • If relevant to your work under this grant, please attach photographs.
  • If relevant to your work under this grant, please attach photographs.
  • If relevant to your work under this grant, please attach photographs.

Entry Notes

St John Center Inc

Permanent Supportive Housing Client Immediate Needs

No

St. John Center’s Permanent Supportive Housing Program will spend the remaining funds on move-in expenses, household supplies, apartment needs, and other everyday expenses as they arise within the program. Since we received the funding on June 1, 2021, SJC has spent $539.26 of the $3,000.00 grant. We anticipate spending the remaining amount by May 2022 at the latest.

Since June 1st, SJC assisted fifteen men entering or maintaining permanent housing with the support of these funds. With help from the Kentucky Social Welfare Fund, two people entered the Permanent Supportive Housing program and moved into apartments of their own. SJC also used this funding to assist thirteen people with obtaining household supplies, apartment needs, and other everyday expenses.

Funding from KSWF ensures that SJC’s Permanent Supportive Housing Program can continue to work toward its goals this fiscal year. Year to year, the program’s goals directly reflect the needs and experiences of the clients we serve. Each year, St. John Center engages participant surveys to enhance our learning about how best to address program goals.

One of the primary goals is ensuring 50% of clients in the program increase, obtain, or maintain their income. As a result of client input, the housing case managers learned there is a need for increased community supports for employment services. Program case managers are also working to ensure clients are aware of services SJC already provides in the Day Shelter to assist with income, such as working with Legal Aid to obtain Social Security disability benefits. A steady income allows clients to shop for necessities, pay for medications, and pay a portion of their rent--ultimately increasing the client’s self-sufficiency.

SJC has learned that regularly surveying clients helps us understand what we can improve to better meet their needs and achieve our program goals. SJC would advise any organization working directly with clients to ask for regular assessment from its clients in order to ensure the organization is effectively meeting the needs of its clients.

St. John Center and KSWF share the goal of connecting individuals who have spent time in prison with opportunities to flourish in their communities. At St. John Center, we know that housing is a first step toward self-sufficiency, better health outcomes, better mental health outcomes, and recovery. As a result, we are a Housing First organization. We hope that funders like KSWF will continue to embrace Housing First solutions for people who are striving for self-sufficiency.

SJC is grateful for this opportunity to partner with KSWF in our shared goal to help the underserved in Kentucky. We appreciate the Foundation’s promptness and communication, and its willingness to fund programs that are vital to the most vulnerable people in our communities across the state.

Entry Notes

The Prisoner's Hope

Inmate/Family Assistance Fund

Yes

Wow! 2021 has been a tricky year. In 2020 the DOC let so many people out due to covid. However this year they haven't let but a trickle of people out. That being said, we were still able to help lots of mentees and their families navigate through incarceration and the reentry process. With your help we sent one family on their dream vacation. They had never flown on a plane, never been to the beach or even been out of the state of Kentucky for that matter! We sent a mother and her 3 children to California. When the FBI kicked in the door, took their father and the only life they ever knew, they traded thoughts of vacations, for downsizing their home to an apartment, the mother had to join the work force and the kids had to give up homeschool for public education. After all they had been through and the opportunity arose we seized it for them, with help from you and a generous donor. We were able to help 19 mentees and families with rent and house furnishing needs. We have helped 8 mentees with 30 day bus passes. We have helped one mentee with a Grey Hound bus ticket to return home to his family. We have put money on mentees JPAY accounts so they can correspond with their families. This year we have taken on 20 new mentees and their families so they no longer have to walk this long confusing road alone. We've also trained 25 new volunteers to mentor the new men and women we've taken on. We've provided counseling services to 3 families struggling with loosing their loved ones to the system. None of this would have been possible with out your help!

The biggest lesson was rolling with whatever came our way. Last year we had 30 people released and this year we've helped 6 leaving prison. Instead of getting stuck on how we are going to help, we got busy and called or wrote our current mentees and families and ask how we can serve them now. Rental assistance was huge this year and we were glad we could step up to the plate and help with that.

There are so many non profits doing the work needed to make our society a better place! Reach out and see what is needed to help be a part of that. It will take all of us working together to accomplish reaching the lost people struggling the most.

I had trouble with the website (there were like 3 multiple choice questions) trying to qualify my agency to be able to apply for the grant. I contacted Charles who is on the board and he was gracious to help me. Everything else was simple, clear and straight forward. I can't thank you enough!!!!!!

  • If relevant to your work under this grant, please attach photographs.
  • If relevant to your work under this grant, please attach photographs.
  • If relevant to your work under this grant, please attach photographs.

Entry Notes