MASON, Mich. — We know that businesses and residents struggled with finances during the pandemic. But, what about our nonprofits – the groups that serve to feed, clothe and shelter people in our community?
Well, they too felt enormous strain. Fortunately, Ingham County has and will once again lend a helping hand to these agencies, to the tune of $200,000.
For more than 40 years, the Ingham County Board of Commissioners has helped local nonprofits through the county’s Community Agency Funding Program. In 2021, 32 nonprofits received more than $212,000 to help Ingham County residents.
“Having food and having access to basic needs is absolutely essential, and we can’t do that unless we work together as a community,” Director of Advent House Ministries for 27 years, Susan Cancro, said.
The county is now accepting applications for 2022.
Ingham County Deputy Controller Jared Cypher said, “It’s just a matter of, we have $200,000 and however many agencies apply, then we take a look at it and come up with a funding recommendation...and the board usually votes on the recommendation in November of every year and then we draw up contracts with each agency…very rarely do we tell somebody no. We usually try to fit everybody into that $200,000.”
Cypher said typically 30 to 35 agencies receive some type of funding each year starting in January.
“It is 50 percent at the beginning and then another 50 percent once they meet a reporting requirement,” Cypher said, referring to the six-month progress report that the agency submits.
Advent House Ministries in Lansing received $15,000 in 2021, and has been working with the board of commissioners for more than 12 years.
“It’s been extremely helpful, especially this past year because of the pandemic," Cancro said. "What we normally do is have a congregate setting and we couldn’t do that. But, with their help, we were able to have food available to those on the street, to people in their homes who are isolated, and we brought the food to them…We couldn’t have done that without the help of Ingham County...We helped almost 2,000 people.”
The Gateway Youth division of Child and Family Charities in Lansing received more than $15,000 in 2021.
Jennifer McMahon, director of the Gateway Division of Child and Family Charities: “Every bit counts and there was such a higher need in terms of just supplying those basic needs to our clientele you know, during that time, because they didn’t have access to things," Jennifer McMahon, director of the Gateway Division of Child and Family Charities, said. "For a while, our public transportation even shut down for a period of time, so how were they getting to grocery stores and being able to feed their families?”
McMahon said these funds help fill the gaps that other federal and state funds don’t cover.
"Especially as we’re moving young people into scattered-site apartments, our federal grants don’t cover things like furniture, household goods, dishes, things for the bathroom, cleaning products,” McMahon explained.
The deadline to apply is July 30. Click here to learn more.
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