Project Connect Homeless Children’s Fund ($112,000 Grant)
The Project Connect Homeless Children’s Fund was founded in 1997. The purpose of the fund is to support the efforts of Project Connect, a Cincinnati Public School program keeping children experiencing homelessness connected to their education through advocacy, enrollment/transportation assistance, school supplies, uniforms and enrichment services. Project Connect and Lighthouse Youth Crisis Center collaborated to create Club CAKE (Connecting Adolescents with Knowledge & Enrichment) to fill hours after school with programming. A pilot of Club CAKE was begun in February 2005. Programs included writing groups, ceramic classes, unique art projects and education about rights and laws that affect them.
The Impact 100 grant of $112,000 allowed this pilot program to be continued for 2 years in full capacity. Programs included were in the areas of Creativity, Education and Social Health. Youth at Lighthouse Youth Crisis Center were required to participate and encouraged to return even after leaving the Lighthouse Youth Crisis Center Shelter.
The receipt of the Impact 100 grant allowed Project Connect and Lighthouse Youth Crisis Center to collect data for 2 years showing the impact of the program on the youth served by Lighthouse Youth Crisis Center. With that information, both partners will be able to raise appropriate funding to continue the program beyond the initial 2 years.
Community Views Renter Equity ($112,000 Grant)
The Renter Equity program was developed and administered by the Cornerstone Community Loan Fund. Families earn credits in a financial account as they pay their rent on time, perform janitorial assignments, take care of the grounds and participate in management meetings. Residents conduct monthly meetings to provide a forum for discussion of managing the facility, setting the budget and orienting prospective new residents. Residents are able to earn equity up to a maximum of $10,000 over ten years which can be withdrawn for any purpose when the resident is fully vested after 5 years.
The Impact 100 grant of $112,000 supported the Renter Equity program at the 12 units in Community Views. Community Views is a scattered site project consisting of 12 units of housing in 6 historic buildings being developed by the Over-The-Rhine Housing Network. The program would then be expanded to another 9 families in units surrounding Community Views for a total of 43 households participating.
The money for the actual equity paid to residents was generated by savings in the property management of the building. The Impact 100 grant was used for leadership training and management support of residents in this new development.