Responsibility Report Entires
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CHNK Behavioral Health/Children's Home of Northern Kentucky
Incorporating Therapeutic Recreation into Residential Treatment for Youth with Mental Health Disorders
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!
Living Arts and Science Center
Educational Tools for PreK Maker Space and PreK STEM Day
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.
St John Center Inc
Permanent Supportive Housing Client Immediate Needs
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.
The Prisoner's Hope
Inmate/Family Assistance Fund
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!!!!!!