HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – The Women’s Philanthropy Society of the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville is proud to partner with First Stop’s “S.A.F.E. Program for Homeless Women” with a $50,000 grant, and to support the National Children’s Advocacy Center’s “Handle with Care” project with a $50,000 for a total grant distribution of $100,000.
The Women’s Philanthropy Society–established for women by women–wishes to positively impact quality of life in our community for generations to come. To accomplish this goal, the Society seeks high-impact grant opportunities to address systemic issues with a long-term, strategic approach. Melissa Thompson, CEO and President of Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville, remarks, “This group of visionary women wants to create a legacy of love in our community by seeking strategic solutions that spur enduring change in the lives of local women, children, and families.”
Each year the Women’s Philanthropy Society awards at least one high-dollar grant to create systemic change for women and their families. The mission-focused Power of S.H.E.E. framework guides efforts to create a positive and measurable impact through grants selected from four core areas which are as follows:
- Safety, security, and stability – Domestic violence, homelessness, child abuse, human trafficking, and food insecurity
- Health and wellness – Mental health, physical health, substance abuse, infant mortality, and pregnancy
- Education – Early childhood education, adult literacy, GED, higher education, and job/workforce training
- Economic empowerment – Financial counseling, entrepreneurship, housing counseling, childcare, and transportation
The Women’s Philanthropy Society chose safety, security, and stability as the focus area for 2022 grantmaking. This year, twenty-one organizations provided grant solicitations. These applications were evaluated by a Grants Committee which selected two nonprofit organizations to receive funds in this grant cycle.
A $50,000 grant to First Stop supports the “S.A.F.E. Program for Homeless Women” project to reduce the percentage of homeless women in Huntsville by providing intentional, multidisciplinary care that specifically addresses their unique needs. This will be accomplished through S (Showers and Day Center Services), A (Access to medical and mental health care through collaborative partners), F (Full-time trained case managers trained in crisis and support), and E (Education and support groups through collaborative partners). By utilizing a gendered approach to client care, First Stop will bridge a gap in homeless services and provide women with a supportive and safe path to exit homelessness.
First Stop Executive Director Jennifer Geist shares, “We are extremely grateful for this grant from the Women’s Philanthropy Society. This funding will allow us to implement our newly formed S.A.F.E Program, focused on reducing the number of homeless women in Huntsville by providing intentional, multidisciplinary care.”
Another $50,000 grant was awarded to the National Children’s Advocacy Center (NCAC) to support the “Handle with Care” project. This collaborative effort between NCAC and local agencies will lessen the effect of trauma on a child’s educational experience while providing pro-active support to the child. Schools are informed discreetly by law enforcement or first responders when a child has been involved with a traumatic event at home or elsewhere, urging educators to “handle with care” when dealing with the child, without disclosing confidential information. All municipalities in our community have expressed support for a tool to inform schools, support children, and lessen the impact of trauma.
National Children’s Advocacy Center Executive Director Chris Newlin says, “We are so thankful for our partnership with the Women’s Philanthropy Society of the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville. Their generosity and commitment to supporting the Handle with Care Program is an important step in creating a more trauma-informed community and will ensure children who experience trauma are provided the support they need in the school setting. Our community will be the first in Alabama to implement this program, and we hope to see this expand throughout the state in the future.”
Since its inception in 2017, The Women’s Philanthropy Society has granted out $325,000 to support the work being done by various organizations and agencies to address a wide spectrum of systemic issues that impact the quality of life for women and families. With over 142 members, the Women’s Philanthropy Society is the fundraising arm for the Women’s Endowment, which is the heart of this effort. The Women’s Endowment provides a permanent source of community capital to provide a perpetual funding source to ensure that their good work can continue indefinitely.