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Ashland awards grants totaling $134,000

The City Council has approved $134,000 in social service grants to support local nonprofit organizations that serve Ashland residents.

The grants were recommended by the Housing and Human Services Commission, which reviewed 19 applications totaling $254,925.

The most substantial grants were $26,500 to Options for Helping Residents of Ashland, $25,500 to St. Vincent de Paul, $13,000 to Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice and $12,000 to Food Angels.

The rest of the grants, approved May 21 and ranging from $1,000 to $8,500, went to Addictions Recovery Center, Center for Non-Profit Legal Services , Dunn House, HelpLine and Sexual Assault Victim Services at Community Works Inc.. Community Network RSVP/Call a Ride, Rogue Valley Council of Governments Food and Friends, Jackson County SART (sexual assault response team), La Clinica, The Maslow Project, Peace House and Rogue Valley Mentoring.

City Housing Program Specialist Linda Reid said the city has funded these grants since 1985.

“The social service grant fund is a valuable resource for nonprofit agencies to fund direct service activities which are not often funded through state or federal grant sources,” Reid said.

The city provided $268,000 in funding to 15 agencies during the last cycle.

“With this funding, 327 individuals, including 132 children, were able to obtain or maintain housing,” Reid said. “Twelve adults and six children were provided shelter from domestic violence situations, and 82 seniors and people with disabilities received food assistance.”

More than 1,300 people received resource referrals and direct support for issues ranging from removing barriers to employment to suicide prevention, Reid said, and 132 homeless and at-risk youth received case management to complete their educational goals.

“All of the applicants bring other sources of funding to leverage the city’s investment in these community services and all of the applicants offer valuable and needed resources to the community,” Reid said.

Commission Chair Rich Rohde said, “The Housing and Human Service Commission works very hard in making funding decisions which are efficient, effective and meet the most pressing needs of our community.”

He said members of the commission are all very involved in the community and are familiar with the work each of the applicants perform.

He said a lot of the focus came down to how many people the organizations served, the administrative overhead, the applicant’s overall budget and whether the organization met the social service grant strategic plan. The plan prioritizes addressing climate change, economic development, housing needs, homeless services and an all-age-friendly community.

“We wanted to highlight our strategic use of really a small amount of money that we have,” Rohde said. “We want to make sure that agencies are really directing that to a number of people in our community.”

Reach Ashland Tidings reporter Caitlin Fowlkes at cfowlkes@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4496. Follow her on Twitter @cfowlkes6.