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The Community Foundation Makes Strategic Investments to Create a More Welcoming Region

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven has awarded $212,000 to 8 nonprofit organizations working with immigrants and $109,000 to 4 nonprofits serving formerly incarcerated individuals and their families. A total of 33 applications were received as part of a special grants process created by The Community Foundation this year; these grants are awarded in furtherance of The Foundation’s immigration and re-entry strategies which were adopted in 2014.

“Grant recipients were chosen based on how well they aligned with The Community Foundation’s immigration and re-entry strategic goals and intended outcomes," says Christina Ciociola, Senior Vice President for Grantmaking & Strategy. “Projects range in size and scope and we are very pleased with the range of issue areas covered by grant recipients from direct service to leadership development to advocacy. For the immigrant population, projects will create pathways to citizenship, promote literacy, education and employment, all leading to supporting immigrants to achieve greater civic and economic success. For the reentry strategy, projects will focus on leadership development, finding employment and housing, and providing collaborative services across multiple agencies.”

The 2015 grants by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven complement strategic grants awarded in the previous year to three organizations that also provide services under The Foundation’s two strategic focus areas: Transitions Clinic Network $50,000 (Reentry), Connecticut Women’s Consortium $20,300 (Reentry) and Junta for Progressive Action $50,000 (Immigration Integration).

2015 Immigrant Integration Strategy Grants

Connecticut Students for a Dream ($12,000 single year total) to support replicating the work done with much success in other regions by creating a more institutionalized and sustainable presence in the Greater New Haven Region as a resource to undocumented youth, families and allies by training more mentors for our College Access Program, creating more safe spaces, hosting more CAP workshops, and implementing both a leadership and political education training curriculum for undocumented youth in the region.

New Haven Legal Assistance ($45,000 multi-year total; $15,000 each of three years) to support legal services for undocumented workers who have not been paid the wages they earned, or who have experienced other workplace violations.

Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut ($10,000 single year total) to support launching an anti- exploitation campaign regarding driver’s licenses.

Elm City Internationals ($15,000 single year total) to support a college preparatory reading and writing program with college follow-through services for Elm City Internationals students who are all ELL student athletes.

Springs Learning Center ($22,125 multi-year total; $7,375 each of three years) to support learners along with investments to help the center train and manage its growing cadre of volunteer tutors as well as to market itself to garner new investors and tutors.

Unidad Latina Accion ($75,000 multi-year total; $25,000 each of three years) to support immigrants who are exploited and abused at work, especially workers who are being paid below the minimum wage and those who labor long hours without the required overtime pay; empower immigrants who are facing discrimination in the immigration or criminal legal justice system; and empowering women and children to address the issues listed above.

Apostle Immigrant Services ($25,935 multi-year total; $13,345 first year, $12,590 second year) to support the "Victim to Victor" project and expand services for immigrant victims of violent crime seeking to obtain legal status through the U visa program;  a petition for U status is often the only available avenue for undocumented persons to achieve legal status for themselves and immediate family members.

Center for Children's Advocacy ($7,500 single year total) to support the work with the International Institute of Connecticut (IIConn) and Unidad Latina en Accion (ULA) to provide training and technical assistance to increase the number of pro bono attorneys able to represent undocumented New Haven youth who have been abandoned or abused, to help them secure Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) Status, which gives youth a legal status that allows them to stay in the United States; and to work with partners to identify systemic barriers to education and health care for new arrival youth in New Haven.

2015 Reentry Strategy Grants

Career Resources Inc. ($50,000 multi-year total; $25,000 each of two years) to support the New Haven Women Investing in Second Chances or (W.I.N.S.) program, an innovative program to serve formerly incarcerated women, by providing them with gender responsive programming, life skills and a supportive work opportunity.

Phoenix Association ($14,679 single year total) to support reducing recidivism rates by helping to transform prisons, with the Connecticut Department of Correction (CT DOC), into "communities that enable success" by changing prisons to become as fully humane, supportive, holistic and safe as possible, for both inmates and prison staff.

Liberty Community Services Inc. ($35,000 single year total) to assist people reentering the community from incarceration to secure housing by identifying and coordinating with landlords, matching apartment-mates, and utilizing flexible subsidies and funding to secure and stabilize permanent housing.

New Haven Legal Assistance ($10,000 single year total) to provide civil legal services to ex-offenders, prioritizing legal matters that seek to reduce barriers to housing, employment, health care and other basic needs.

The goal of The Community Foundation’s immigrant integration strategy is that: Immigrants, including undocumented immigrants in Greater New Haven achieve greater civic and economic participation and success thereby becoming more fully integrated members of a more welcoming community. The Community Foundation believes that immigrants are critical assets and is committed to the ongoing work of making Greater New Haven a welcoming community. Work that removes barriers to full social, economic, and civic participation of immigrants not only helps them reach their individual potentials, but also brings the benefits of economic growth and cultural diversity to the community as a whole. 

The goal of The Community Foundation’s reentry strategy is that: More formerly incarcerated individuals re-entering New Haven will be able to get the necessary services and support to be empowered to reintegrate positively, making them less likely to re-offend. The Community Foundation believes that the successful readjustment of formerly incarcerated individuals will also have positive effects on those impacted by their incarceration including their children, family and community. As such, The Foundation is particularly committed to supporting new and innovative programs among community-based organizations, faith-based organizations and re-entry providers that treat the whole person and address underlying problems that often go deeper than a single issue, be they related to physical or mental health, education, housing, family and/or employment.  

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