Rotary International District 5030, along with Rotary Districts 5020 and 5050, is partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fund local efforts to end family homelessness.
Rotary 5030 will use a $100,000 grant from the Gates Foundation to match local contributions from Rotarians across these three districts.
“It is a tragedy that right here in Washington state, thousands of people worry about where they will sleep at night — and nearly half of our region’s homeless are children and their parents,” said Nancy Keenholts Dalton, former governor of Rotary District 5030. “This partnership gives us the opportunity to work with our communities to help to dramatically reduce family homelessness in this region.”
Rotary District 5030 will serve as the intermediary for the money, providing sub-grants to their 53 local clubs, which will raise matching funds and provide grants directly to local nonprofits working to meet the needs of homeless families. Each local club can apply for grants between $2,500 and $10,000. They will give priority to organizations that address one or more of the critical steps to end family homelessness:
– Early intervention and prevention before persons lose their housing
– Coordinated access to determine exactly what support each family requires to stabilize itself
– Programs tailored to meet the unique needs of individual families
– Rapid re-housing into permanent homes, not temporary shelter
– Increased economic opportunity to help parents reduce the gap between income and rent
Around 25 clubs in Rotary 5030’s jurisdiction will also host educational seminars and presentations on family homelessness.
Rotary’s efforts complement the innovative work being done in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, where leaders are developing county-wide plans to re-align municipal, county, state, and federal funding streams to create a coordinated system that emphasizes prevention, rapid re-housing, and a stronger connection to employment and education for homeless families. These plans are expected to be completed in early 2011.
The Gates Foundation will invest up to $60 million over the next 10 years in support of the work these counties and organizations are doing to end homelessness. ♦