The Omaha Community Foundation is pleased to announce another round of Community Resilience Fund grant recipients. Seven local nonprofits, serving those disproportionately affected by COVID-19, will receive funds totaling $83,000.

Launched in April 2021, the Community Resilience Fund focuses on providing grants in the following areas: arts and culture, housing, learning recovery, mental health, and workforce.

To date, we’ve received 98 applications totaling over $2.7 million in requests. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis to support ongoing efforts to recover and rebuild from social, health, and economic impacts of the pandemic. Anyone can donate.

Grants Made in June 2021

ARTS & CULTURE: Alleviating operational uncertainty until organizations can fully reopen and restabilize earned revenue through programs, performances, and exhibits.

> African Culture Connection: $10,000 for general operating support. African Culture Connection empowers people of all ages to deepen their connection with Africa’s rich cultural legacy and global community. They are addressing needs in the community by enabling access to arts education that is not typically available for students from low-income families, enriching arts programming outside of school, and cultivating innovation and creativity. Funds will go to various aspects of the operating budget, including paying teaching artists, rent and utilities for leased office space, and lost revenue from cancelled public performances and residencies in 2020.

> Culxr House: $15,000 for general operating support. Culxr House found new ways to support the community throughout the pandemic by providing a space for facilitated discussions and community workshops for youth, adults, and neighbors on civic engagement, training on civil rights, and the how-to’s of community organizing. They also teach artists how to use their art and creative platforms for activism in various community settings, such as college campuses. Culxr House, in collaboration with the ACLU, is also providing know-your-rights and redlining workshops. Culxr House, in partnership with Heart Ministry Center, was instrumental in supplying basic needs among the community during the pandemic. Funding will be used to pay workshop instructors, staff salaries, art and technology supplies, and snacks for Culxr Kids youth program.

HOUSING: Ensuring people can safely stay in their homes through legal assistance or financial support.

> Habitat for Humanity of Council Bluffs, Inc.: $15,000 for Homeowner Repair Program. Habitat for Humanity of Council Bluffs has launched a homeowner repair program that serves those in need of critical repairs, exterior repairs/weatherization, and home modification for accessibility. Homeowners impacted by COVID-19 did not and still do not have the resources to address the upkeep and maintenance of their property investment. Should these homes become uninhabitable, many could not afford to buy in today’s market and are at risk of homelessness. A portion of funds will also be used to assist homeowners with reinstating their homeowners’ insurance, if lapsed.

LEARNING RECOVERY: Supporting enrichment programs and activities to reverse disparities that grew due to remote learning and other educational disruptions.

> Girls Inc. of Omaha: $10,000 for summer literacy education programming. Girls Inc. of Omaha received support for an intensive supplemental literacy education program for the summer of 2021 for girls in North and South Omaha. Their comprehensive summer programming will keep girls engaged in academics while also promoting physical fitness, supporting mental/emotional wellness, and meeting the social needs that girls have been missing over the past year. Girls Inc. will hire certified teachers to facilitate literacy programming on-site. Girls will improve their reading comprehension and writing skills, which support all other areas of learning.

> The Simple Foundation: $15,000 for Academic Excellence & College for Success Program. The Simple Foundation provides opportunities for underserved youth to participate in organized athletics and access critical support services that help them develop life skills, be successful in school, and maintain physical/mental health. Grant funds will be used to support TSF’s Academic Excellence/College For Success programming. This will provide academic support for youth in poverty, specifically those underserved and underrepresented. This will also fund salaries for staff advocates and coach-mentors, curriculum, stipends, supplies, and equipment needed to carry out the day-to-day operations of programming.

WORKFORCE: Helping people gain new skills or education to find and secure stable employment.

> inCOMMON Community Development: $15,000 for Workforce Development Program. inCOMMON’s Workforce Development program offers participants comprehensive activities to increase their earning potential and financial skills to achieve education, career, economic, and community goals. The program provides multiple evidence-based individual development activities for participants, including classes in adult basic education, English language, soft skill development, practical employment preparation, and financial literacy. Through inCOMMON’s holistic approach, the program strategy engages neighbors in supplemental comprehensive activities to promote individual and family success while benefiting the greater community’s well-being and resilience. Funding will go directly toward Workforce Development activities, such as instructors’ time and program coordination.

> Language & Culture School of Omaha: $3,000 for ESL/GED instructor salary. During the pandemic, the Language & Culture School of Omaha moved its ESL and citizenship classes to an online format. After receiving a state stabilization grant, they were able to expand their course offerings to include GED classes in the evenings via Zoom. They hope to reach at least six immigrants in the program and continue to offer programming in the future as it helps those with limited English proficiency and low educational attainment to expand their earning potential in the workforce. Funds will go to paying the contracted teacher for a year. The funds may also provide opportunity to offer a daytime and evening option for its students.

Community Resilience Fund Awards Over $100K for COVID Recovery
Post-Pandemic Priorities for Youth Focus on Learning Recovery
COVID-19 Magnified Omaha’s Housing Issues
How the Pandemic Has Impacted Our Community’s Mental Health