Grants Totaling $541,300 Awarded to Fund Basic Needs for Latinx Communities and Youth Mental Health Services across the Region

(April 2021) CFWNC recently approved grants totaling $541,300 reaching 17 WNC counties to address needs exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The awards, made outside of the Foundation’s regular grant cycles, provide funding for basic human needs in Latinx communities and youth mental health services across the region.

“Following the rollout of the federal stimulus, CFWNC researched funding gaps and reached out to our nonprofit partners to understand where money was still lacking,” said CFWNC President Elizabeth Brazas. “Two main areas of concern rose to the top: mental health services for youth and basic needs support for Latinx communities. We are thankful to have the flexibility and, with the partnership of our donors, funds to award additional grants to meet these immediate needs.”

The grants are:

$60,000 to Bakersville Community Medical Clinic to provide school-based mental health services to students in Yancey County Schools.

$20,000 to Black Mountain Counseling Center to provide a comprehensive program for adolescents and families in Buncombe and McDowell counties addressing stress management and mental health and wellness.

$82,800 to Blue Ridge Community Health Services for a school-based mental health program offering counseling sessions to students in Henderson and Transylvania counties that have no insurance or are underinsured.

$20,000 to Blue Ridge Organizing Project to purchase food, provide rental assistance, cover basic utility and medical bills, and meet other emergency needs of unemployed or underemployed Latinx people in Buncombe, Yancey, Mitchell, Madison and Henderson counties.

$30,000 to Centro Unido Latino-Americano to meet emergency needs such as food, rent, utilities and medical assistance for low-income Latinx people in McDowell, Rutherford, Burke, Buncombe, Mitchell, Yancey and Avery counties.

$40,000 to Colaborativa La Milpa (formerly Companeros Inmigrantes de las Montanas en Accion) to provide direct cash assistance for basic needs to Latinx immigrants in Buncombe County who do not qualify for federal aid and are experiencing hardship due to COVID-19.

$38,500 to Latino Advocacy Coalition to provide mental health services that include group and individual therapy sessions and referrals for Latinx people in Henderson County.

$100,000 to Meridian Behavioral Health Services to provide mental health treatment to youth by increasing services for its in-home program, assisting families with co-pays and increasing translator services for Spanish-speaking residents in Jackson, Cherokee, Graham, Clay, Haywood, Swain, Transylvania and Macon counties.

$100,000 to Vecinos Farmworker Health Program to support low-income Latinx families with basic needs in Jackson, Swain, Macon, Graham, Clay, Cherokee and Haywood counties.

$50,000 to Western North Carolina Workers Center to provide basic need assistance to Latinx immigrant workers in Burke, Henderson, Macon and Buncombe counties.

“Farmworkers are essential workers and have been at the front-line of COVID for over a year, risking personal health and well-being to keep our food supply stable and to make their own economic ends meet,” said Vecinos Executive Director Marianne Martínez. “This grant supports a collaborative effort between Hola Carolina, Vecinos and MAHEC to provide pandemic relief funds to migrant and seasonal farmworkers. It’s an incredible example of how funders can partner with on-the-ground organizations to create real and positive impact.”

CFWNC fundholders and donors contributed $234,000, or 43% of the total, to the grants. Co-investors include Biltmore Estate Charitable Fund, Rick and Bridget Eckerd Charitable Fund, Samuel and William Elmore Fund for Mental Wellness, Fidel Duke Fund, Walnut Fund, Shem Family Fund and three anonymous funds.