The board of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation has recently awarded nearly $1.5 million in grants to 18 organizations with programs that address needs in the Bay Area identified as strategically important to SVCF: increasing civic participation by youth or underrepresented groups; providing legal aid to immigrants; and providing financial literacy or empowerment programs for low-income residents in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.
“The San Francisco Bay Area continues to be a tale of two communities,” said Valerie Cuevas, interim vice president of strategic initiatives and grantmaking at SVCF. “While great wealth is created here, many residents continue to struggle. We are happy to support programs that engage and empower our most vulnerable community members who are increasingly being left behind.”
Civic Participation Grants
The nine programs being supported by $690,000 in grants to increase civic participation by immigrants, youth, minority groups, and other underrepresented members of society include:
City of San Jose, which received $100,000 to support an open-data platform to improve outcomes in public services.
San Jose Public Library Foundation, which received $100,000 to support development of a civics education program for youth aged 13-24.
Californians for Justice Education Fund, which received $100,000 to support civic empowerment of youth in Silicon Valley via building open-government practices at three school districts and providing non-partisan civic education and participation opportunities for 2,500 children of color.
KQED INC., which received $100,000 to support government transparency and informed public through regionally focused non-partisan news reporting to increase civic engagement in Silicon Valley.
Financial Stability Grants
The eight programs being supported by $731,066 in grants to improve access for low-income individuals and families to public programs that provide financial stability include:
Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, which received $100,000 to support-low income community members seeking to appeal decisions denying them public benefits, and to support the development of a new training and referral process for such appeals by partner organizations.
Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, which received $100,000 for a Financial Foundations Program to support low income county residents with financial literacy, benefits navigation, asset-building and employment.
United Way of the Bay Area, which also received $100,000 to support a SparkPoint Center at the College of San Mateo, which will provide services to community college students to increase uptake of public benefits.
Legal Services for Immigrants
The International Institute of the Bay Area received $50,000 to provide naturalization services in San Mateo County by recruiting pro bono attorneys and volunteers to increase the effectiveness and capacity of IIBA’s workshop delivery model.