GHACF awards more than $390K in Community Impact grants

Five Community Impact grant awards, totaling $391,000 in support of Northwest Ottawa County and the surrounding communities, have been announced by the board of the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation (GHACF).

The funding includes a $20,000 grant for Gracious Grounds, the Grand Haven faith-based housing organization. The funds will be used for the nonprofit’s Life Skills Wraparound Support Program, which works to promote the integration of residents into Gracious Grounds and the larger community with measurable and customized goals. 
“We are so incredibly grateful for this award from the community foundation and their continued belief in our mission, and the opportunities we provide to those with unique abilities,” says David Burdo, executive director of Gracious Grounds.

Gracious Grounds residents participate in a cooking class.

The Wraparound Support Program was designed to foster community connection, facilitate educational and social opportunities, assist with access to vital resources, and provide additional guidance for those who call Gracious Grounds home.

“This grant funding supports this initiative to empower our community members to take advantage of opportunities to live a life in the direction of their choosing and as independently as they are able," says Burdo. 
The project includes the support of the Resident Support Coordinator (RSC) as well as technology to aid resident job-seeking and the development of education and life skills. The RSC position will assist with individual case management and care coordination. The program’s goals are to increase residents’ integration into the community, reduce the unemployment rate of residents by 10%, and empower residents to advocate for themselves and their health. 
“We thank the community foundation for providing us with the financial resources to provide our community members with the tools and support necessary to continue to thrive and grow in the home they have at Gracious Grounds and within this amazing community,” Burdo says. 
Additional Community Impact grants include: 
Outdoor Discovery Center (ODC): ODC Network Summer Connection ($81,000)
ODC will expand upon last summer’s pilot program, Project 180, to address the learning loss experienced by children in grades K–5 in Ottawa County because of the impacts of COVID-19. Summer Connection will be a nature-based summer education program held in partnership with Grand Haven Area Public Schools and Walden Green Montessori.
Resilience: Advocates for Ending Violence: Operations Infrastructure Enhancement Project — Phase 2 ($50,000) 
Funding will support the second of three phases in Resilence’s Operations Infrastructure Enhancement Project. The project will advance their current labor-intensive operations and workflow processes to an integrated, cloud-based system. Enhanced, integrated, and streamlined software systems will allow Resilience to monitor analytics, develop budgets with greater accuracy, and maximize grant revenues available from state and federal funding sources. 
Michigan Community Capital (MCC): Development Associate Project ($225,000 over three years)
MCC will utilize this three-year grant to increase the organization’s capacity within their development department through the dedicated support of the internal and external costs associated with property/site evaluation, legal and environment due diligence, and design. This position has the potential to increase MCC’s total development capacity by one-third and provide MCC with the ability to take on additional projects in Northwest Ottawa County.
Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore: Rebuilding the Grand Haven Little House ($15,000 matching grant)
A matching grant of up to $15,000 was awarded to Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore to support the costs of fixtures, furnishings, and equipment for a new Grand Haven Little House. The house will be a location for Girl Scout troop meetings, training, special activities, programs, and an overnight option for local and traveling troops. 
The Summer 2022 Community Impact grant round pre-applications are due May 11, 2022. Learn more at 

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Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.