2015 Community Foundation Grant Recipients


The ARC, Upper Valley – Advocacy Services Program

The Arc, Upper Valley provides advocacy services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their family members. The purpose of this program is to help individuals and their families resolve issues, obtain needed supports and services, and to promote change in practices, policies and behaviors of third parties. Individual advocacy is important as it helps to promote and protect the civil and human rights of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It is also an integral part of establishing, maintaining and improving quality of life for these individuals. Community Foundation grant money would help with some of the cost of operating this program.

ArtWise – Children’s Public Art Project

ArtWise has proposed a Public Art Project for participants of the Free Lunch programs in Grand Forks City Parks. The Art Project is a variation of the recycled artwork projects developed by artists in Indiana and Washington, which stem from the artwork of the famous public art artist, Dale Chilhuly. Local artists will assist children on site with a very simple way to turn small plastic water bottles into various floral garden arrangements. Children can make as few or as many as they like. Artists will develop the displays with the help of children and interested adults. These displays can be temporarily installed in various sites around the city, with approval.

Lutheran Social Services – DIVERT Program

The DIVERT program employs a family centered casework approach, with the primary location of the delivery of service being the family’s home. Staff of DIVERT work from a strengths based model, looking for ways in which the family functions well, focusing upon the resiliencies they possess. The program and its staff believe that families can be empowered to make the positive changes they have identified they need to make in order to experience the level of functioning and satisfaction they desire. Families themselves are seen as having the keys to unlocking the changes needed, with staff being responsible to assist families in identification of those strengths and barriers, providing support and crisis intervention as well as the securing of the resources they may need to be successful in attaining their goals.

Prairie Harvest Mental Health – Life Skills & Job Development Program

Prairie Harvest Mental Health Life Skills and Job Development Program serves people with serious mental illness who have been homeless. All aspects of this program focus on strengthening on mental health wellness so that the clients can reclaim their lives and thrive as contributing members of the community. Prairie Harvest Mental Health Job Developer works in group and individual settings to increase job skills so that clients can achieve greater self sufficiency. The Life Skills Coordinator provides assistance in all activities of daily living such as teaching clients to establish healthy relationships, how to improve life styles, improve nutrition, and how to navigate through the service delivery systems to access available services in the community. Services are tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual.

Red River Valley Habitat for Humanity – Home Construction Project

The goal of Red River Valley Habitat for Humanity (RRVHFH) it to construct simple, decent and affordable homes. The current project is approximately a 1500 square foot structure for a family of four. In keeping with the international organization’s mission, “we offer a hand up, not a hand out” for families who would not otherwise be able to buy a home on their own. The organization offers an interest-free mortgage and requires the future homeowners to invest 250 hours of “sweat equity” per adult in the household to help build their home.

St. Josephs Social Care – Food Pantry Milk & Eggs Initiative

St. Joseph’s hosts a food pantry that patrons can visit once per calendar month for supplemental nutrition needs, in order to help their food budget stretch the whole month, which is not easy for some families, particularly during the summer when kids are eating all meals at home and not taking advantage of free/reduced price breakfast and lunches through the schools. This grant will focus on a portion of Food Pantry services that ensures a well balanced diet for all household members, as well as the additional items that many packaged food products need to be complete: milk and eggs. St. Joseph’s offers these items at no cost to households, and unlike many of the other items in the food pantry, these items are purchased by St. Joseph’s at full price.

YMCA – Neighborhood Playground Renovation

To renovate the playground to meet current ADA and federal safety guidelines, installing a play surface that is accessible to all children, regardless of their mobility. The new playground would be utilized by the YMCA early childhood program, as well as provide open play time for the community and near north end neighbors to utilize in the evenings and weekends.

American Red Cross – Neighborhood Fire Preparedness Initiative

The American Red Cross and Grand Forks Fire Department canvased the northern Grand Forks neighborhoods door to door to install smoke alarms and provide fire safety and escape planning information to families. This program aims to reduce the number of lives lost to home fires by 25% in the next 5 years.