Press Release - July 20, 2011
COMMUNITY FOUNDATION AWARDS MORE THAN $1 MILLION TO PROVIDE FOOD AND SHELTER
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Silicon Valley Community Foundation has awarded $1.17 million in grants to help meet the basic human need for food and shelter of the many residents of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties still suffering in the aftermath of the recession.
While the overall unemployment rate in the region continues to drop, fueled by rapid growth in the technology sector, many unemployed and underemployed workers not qualified for such jobs continue to struggle to find work and make ends meet. Demand for safety net assistance exceeds the capacity of community-based organizations that provide food, shelter and homeless prevention services, and budget cuts at the federal, state and local levels have significantly reduced funding to these agencies. Santa Clara County supervisors recently approved a budget that includes a 25 percent reduction in such spending, and San Mateo County’s projected budget includes multi-million dollar cuts to human services.
In response to the critical need for support, the community foundation will provide grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to 59 nonprofit organizations serving residents throughout the region, primarily core service providers that are often the first resort for people in need.
"Silicon Valley is back in growth mode, but there is still enormous need in our community," said Emmett D. Carson, Ph.D., CEO and president of the community foundation. "Too many people are feeling hungry. Too many need a safe place to sleep."
The community foundation has awarded more than $6.4 million in safety net funding since December 2008.
The 59 organizations include food and shelter providers, homeless prevention programs and emergency assistance agencies.
Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley, for example, received a $20,000 grant for Project N.O.A.H. (No One Abandoned Here), which provides food assistance for diverse, low-income and struggling individuals, families, seniors and refugees in Santa Clara County. Its grant application cited widening levels of need as the recession continues into its fourth year. "We see people who often must choose between paying for rent, food, utilities or medical expenses. People who were agency donors and volunteers now seek food assistance from our agency."
Samaritan House received a $50,000 grant to provide emergency and transitional shelter for single homeless adults throughout San Mateo County. While its Safe Harbor Shelter primarily serves the chronically homeless, staff members reported that 18 percent of its clients this year were experiencing homelessness for the first time.
Loaves and Fishes Family Kitchen received a $20,000 grant to support its Food and Nutrition Project, which provides more than 100,000 hot meals each year to homeless and low-income children, adults and families in Santa Clara County. It reported in its grant application that much of its funding from government sources is in jeopardy or has already been eliminated. As a result, it may reduce the number of meals it serves or close one of its dining rooms.
The $1.17 million in grants includes a recent $150,000 gift from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to the community foundation’s Safety Net Fund, which also continues to receive generous contributions from individual community foundation donors.
For a full list of grantees, visit the community foundation’s website at www.siliconvalleycf.org.
About Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation is a catalyst and leader for innovative solutions to our region’s most challenging problems. Serving all of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, the community foundation has $2 billion in assets under management and 1,500 philanthropic funds. The community foundation provides grants through donor advised and corporate funds in addition to its own endowment funds. The community foundation serves as a regional center for philanthropy, providing donors simple and effective ways to give locally and around the world. Find out more at www.siliconvalleycf.org.