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Business and the Economy

Community Response Challenge Grants Total $125,000

Community Foundation of the Ozarks
Used with permission

With gifts totaling $125,000, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks is supporting 16 local programs that focus on addressing red-flag issues in the Springfield-Greene County area. These red flag issues include poverty, insufficient public funding, economic uncertainty and child abuse and neglect. KSMU’s Shannon Bowers has the story.
These “Community Response Challenge” grants will help local non-profit organizations achieve their goals for the upcoming year. All proposals focused on efforts to sustain or enhance their existing programs that have a record of success on red-flag issues identified in the subject-area categories.
One of those agencies receiving grant money is Safe to Sleep, an overnight shelter for homeless women. Jane Pearson is with the organization. She says that during their fifteen months in operation, they have served 417 women.
“Now we know there is a tremendous need. Nightly, we see somebody new coming to us. So now we wonder how many more women are out there, sleeping in dumpsters or under porches or in hiding, so they will be safe for the night,” said Person.
The Community Response Challenge began in 2007 when local non-profit agencies were struggling to meet their general operation costs. These are matching grants, as CFO’s Randy Russell explains, where the amount raised by each applicant is also contributed by the Foundation.
“This way they can say we have a $25,000 opportunity here, if we have $12,500 from the Community Foundation. We are looking for them to leverage their money with new donors to their organization. They’re using our money as a way to do that,” said Russell.
Each agency had three months to complete their matching campaign donation. The grants leveraged a total of $250,000 for the agencies.
For KSMU news, I’m Shannon Bowes