HealthSpark Foundation Awards $300,000 to Support MontCo's Safety Net System
It is with utmost excitement that we share we have awarded $300,000 to 13 Montgomery County nonprofit organizations to support the safety net system.
This was a highly competitive round: the Safety Net Fund received a record high of 85 applications this past fall. Our evaluation process prioritized grant applications that connect with the goals and mission outlined in our Safety Net Framework, and that reached a broad diversity of sectors, geographies, and focus areas.
In 2017, HealthSpark Foundation made a long-term commitment to invest in strengthening Montgomery County’s safety net system. With guidance and input from a wide range of community members and partners, HealthSpark focused on ensuring that anyone in Montgomery County could access high quality, coordinated, equitable, and culturally appropriate services no matter who they are, what they need, or where they live.
The organizations that were awarded grants in this cycle reflect work that is being done in Montgomery County across HealthSpark’s Safety Net Initiative framework and goals. As well, they build upon the work, partners, and learnings of prior years, which has led HealthSpark to increase its focus on improving communities through power-building, racial justice, and nurturing connections within and across people and organizations in Montgomery County.
There are a few first-time funding areas within this next portfolio for HealthSpark:
- Libraries have always been important destination points for community. But not only for access to reading and other resources, but also as free hubs of technology access, supporting unhoused patrons with a safe space, and so much more. They act as crucial community spaces. We are thrilled to extend our support to Lansdale Public Library as they continue to strive towards inclusivity and creating a welcoming environment, where patrons can learn about any subject they desire.
- The presence of arts & culture in our communities weaves connection to creativity, imagination, and storytelling. It can bridge the gap between racial groups, religious groups, and cultural groups. It can express common values we can all understand and feel. It can bring communities together, like Theatre Horizon is doing by connecting the dots between advocacy, representation, and community engagement and supporting HealthSpark’s safety net goal of a 'vibrant, active, inclusive' community.
- In a time where reproductive health rights have been greatly affected, HealthSpark is proud to support Planned Parenthood Southeastern PA (PPSP) which operates clinics in Norristown and Pottstown. PPSP offers essential healthcare, education, and advocacy programs in sexual and reproductive health. Part of the work of making a stronger safety net system is making sure the system is equitable and person-centered, two important values of HealthSpark’s Safety Net Framework. PPSP is doing just that.
Our team, board, and community volunteers acknowledge the importance of purposeful diversification in the organizations we endorse. Our portfolio exemplifies a mindful approach towards this goal, encompassing initiatives such as transgender rights, senior care services for the Asian community, pro bono civil legal services, and other crucial causes.
Below is our full list of grant awardees:
- ACLAMO| $15,000 - ACLAMO provides educational programs, social services, and access to health and wellness programs to Latinos and other community members to empower them to fully achieve their life potential. Grant funds will support general operating expenses to expand reach, improve the quality of services, center racial and social justice, and address critical issues such as housing stability, healthcare access, and support for seniors.
- Catholic Social Services of Montgomery County/Martha’s Choice Marketplace | $30,000 - Martha's Choice Marketplace strives for a society where all individuals are treated with unwavering dignity and respect, ensuring their access to nourishing food, and fostering their overall well-being. Grant funds will support general operating expenses to meet the growing food crisis in an equitable way, with healthy, culturally appropriate food, and build a community-led approach to addressing food security overall.
- Episcopal Legal Aid | $10,000 - Episcopal Legal Aid addresses systemic problems in the delivery of civil legal services in Montgomery County by bringing attorneys to the places where potential clients live, work, and obtain vital services. Grant funds will support general operating expenses to expand their program of promoting access to justice by bringing pro bono civil legal services to low-income residents of Montgomery County in places individuals can easily be reached or where they have already gathered and feel at ease, at times convenient to them.
- Family Promise Montco PA (FP Montco) | $30,000 - FP Montco fills service gaps in the county’s safety net to bridge a path from homelessness and housing insecurity to sustained stability. Grant funds will support general operating expenses to advance their mission and strengthen the county’s safety net for families experiencing homelessness, housing insecurity, and hunger, through investments in staff training, professional development, and overall staffing capacity.
- HopeWorx, Inc. | $19,000 - HopeWorx, Inc. promotes the continued development of a community environment which supports and believes in the expertise and passion of individuals to create and direct their own paths to health and recovery, leading to the ultimate goal of reliance of oneself or one’s own power. Grant funds will support general operating expenses to support facilitators to bring staff, board and stakeholders together to update Hopeworx, Inc.'s mission, vision and values and create a strategic business plan that grows with the organization.
- Lansdale Public Library | $30,000 – Lansdale Public Library enriches the community through the encouragement of early literacy, the fostering of life-long learning, and the inclusion and celebration of the cultural diversity in their area. Grant funds will support general operating expenses to update outdated technology and refresh collections to better reflect the needs of the community.
- Neighbors Helping Neighbors on the Main Line (NHN) | $30,000 – NHN is a grassroots organization supporting underrepresented communities and youth in the Greater Philadelphia region. Grant funds will support general operating expenses of NHN's physical location A Space for Neighbors, outreach and resource linking, education empowerment, food security, community outreach, and capacity building.
- Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania (PPSP) | $30,000 – PPSP’s mission is to provide sexual, reproductive and complementary services; deliver comprehensive sexuality education; and advocate fiercely for the protection and advancement of health equity and access to care – all with a commitment to cultural humility. Grant funds will support general operating expenses to provide essential health care, education, and advocacy programs in Montgomery County through their Pottstown and Norristown Health Centers.
- The Center for Loss and Bereavement | $15,000 - The Center for Loss and Bereavement offers a place of comfort and professional support services for people experiencing profound loss and grief through specialized individual, couple, and family grief counseling, adult grief support programs, children and family grief support programs, as well as community grief education and consulting. Grant funds will support general operating expenses for emotional well-being services of specialized grief counselors and group facilitators in Montgomery County's Safety Net.
- The Philip Jaisohn Memorial Foundation | $15,000 - The Philip Jaisohn Memorial Foundation promotes and fulfills Dr. Philip Jaisohn's ideals of humanity through medical, social, educational, and cultural services for the enhancement of the quality of life in communities and particularly those of Korean Americans. Grant funds will support program expenses for the Jaisohn Wellness Center, AAPI Senior Community Center and outreach and navigation to further develop the senior center programs to expand their services for a more diverse group of Asian ethnic seniors.
- The Welcome Project PA | $16,000 - The Welcome Project PA strives to be a diverse, safe place for marginalized and vulnerable populations and seeks to bring about positive social change to improve the quality of life for individuals and families in Greater Philadelphia. Grant funds will support general operating expenses for LGBT+ programs, services and advocacy, support and advocacy for immigrant families, mental health services for lower-income community members, healthcare accessibility and inclusion for transgender and nonbinary patients, and support for marginalized and/or vulnerable faith communities.
- Theatre Horizon | $30,000 - Theatre Horizon’s mission is to use the transformative power of storytelling to foster empathy and to create an inclusive home for artists, audiences, and students alike. Grant funds will support general operating expenses for Theatre Horizon to become a “Third Space” for Norristown, a social space separate from home and work for community members to connect across perceived boundaries and continue to build long-term, mutually-beneficial, and sustainable relationships with Norristown and the surrounding Montgomery County by inviting the community to become active participants in artmaking and long-term decision-making.
- Willow Grove Community Development Corporation (Willow Grove CDC) | $30,000 – Willow Grove CDC helps families and communities by providing affordable housing and services. Grant funds will support general operating expenses to complete the acquisition of additional properties to be added to their affordable housing inventory and to assist individuals and/or families to become first time home buyers, in Upper Moreland and Eastern Montgomery County.
In these projects and partners, HealthSpark is pleased to partner with organizations that are advancing racial and social justice, supporting the well-being of safety net providers, expanding access to services, building safety net leadership, and modeling collaborations and connections – all toward meeting immediate needs and laying the groundwork for long-term positive change. These organizations together reach every corner of our county. They reflect our founding goals and our evolving understanding of what will be most impactful, which is so important to our story and to our future. We remain committed to staying responsive to the needs of Montgomery County and look forward to sharing those stories with you. More to come.
We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all those who submitted applications to the Safety Net Fund. The overwhelming response from the community to support MontCo's Safety Net System, coupled with the increasing number of organizations sharing our vision, is truly heartwarming. We are grateful for the trust you have placed in HealthSpark. Thank you all so much.
We look forward to generating continued momentum and engaging a broad spectrum of community partners invested in a shared commitment to nourish and sustain Montgomery County’s safety net through additional opportunities in the future, including the Dr. Frank E. Boston Black Justice Fund, Community of Practices, research, advocacy, leadership development, and more. Collaboration is at the heart of what we do, and we will always welcome your connections.
The HealthSpark Foundation Team