We Raise Foundation Awards Four GrantsPlus Grants totaling $200,000

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We Raise Foundation recently approved four grants totaling $200,000 that will assist Christian organizations working to build healthier communities through education, workforce development, or criminal justice programs. GrantsPlus grants support new and innovative projects in Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Oakland/San Francisco working at the intersection of poverty, violence, and inequality. Grants of up to $100,000 over two to three years are offered.

In addition to the grant award, We Raise also provides critical capacity-building services in the area of resource development to help strengthen and sustain the programs funded. For each grantee, We Raise conducts a resource development assessment, crowdfunding campaign, and research. GrantsPlus recipients also participate in webinars, convening events, and workshops.

The four new grant recipients are:

Advanced Construction Skills Training for Ex-Offenders
St. Leonard’s Ministries, Chicago, Ill.
Grant Amount – $50,000

The ability to secure living wage employment and safe, stable, and healthy housing are two of the most difficult barriers ex-offenders face when reentering the community. With the addition of an Advanced Construction Skills Training program, St. Leonard’s Ministries aims to provide sophisticated trade skills training and project management experience that equips trainees with the skills and on-the-job experience to obtain pre-union apprenticeships and union apprenticeships, leading to living-wage union employment. St. Leonard’s is confident this program will lead to lower recidivism rates and improved long-term self-sustainability outcomes among individuals reentering society following incarceration.

 

After-School Enrichment + Youth Leadership Programs
Harbor House Ministries, Oakland, Calif.
Grant Amount – $50,000

Harbor House Ministries provides high quality, educationally-based programs for 60 elementary children from the neighborhood that aim to increase educational equity for students by providing a safe, caring place for them to learn, grow, explore, and create. They are served a nutritious, hearty snack, and offered a quiet and safe place to do their homework; participate in high-quality enrichment activities such as art, choir, cooking; play soccer and outdoor games; and develop positive relationships with caring mentors. First and second graders who are below grade level in reading receive a one-on-one reading tutor. Teens from the community serve as interns running the elementary program, while learning valuable leadership skills. The teens also have their own after-school program twice a week in the evenings.

 

Saint Louis University Prison Education Program
Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Mo.
Grant Amount – $50,000

The Saint Louis University (SLU) Prison Education Program provides access to high-quality liberal arts education for people who are incarcerated and prison staff. Programming currently takes place 2-3 days each week at three facilities. With the grant, SLU plans to scale the noncredit programming, the college preparatory program, and the prison arts and education program between 2018 and 2020. They will double the programming each year to offer 14 college preparatory courses, 8 workshops, and 30 Inside Out Speaker Series events, doubling participation to almost 2,500 people.

 

UpStart Kitchen
PRISM Economic Development Corporation, Milwaukee, Wis.
Grant Amount – $50,000

UpStart Kitchen is a shared-space commercial kitchen in the Sherman Park neighborhood of Milwaukee. Challenges in Sherman Park are high unemployment rates among African American males and a lack of livable wage job opportunities. UpStart Kitchen will serve current and aspiring urban food entrepreneurs by providing an accessible, fully equipped, commercial shared kitchen to process their food products and grow their businesses. UpStart Kitchen will also provide these food entrepreneurs access to coaching and teaching in areas related to the food industry and small business development.

 

About We Raise Foundation
We Raise Foundation identifies innovative ideas, people, and programs that raise consciousness, community leadership, and capital. Motivated by the belief that freedom is grace in action (Galatians 5:1a), We Raise provides grants and assistance with resource development to organizations that work at the intersection of poverty, violence, and inequality. We Raise supports Christian nonprofit organizations and emerging leaders and has a preference for funding solutions within the areas of education, workforce development, and criminal justice. To learn more, please visit weraise.org. You can also find We Raise on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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