The latest round of Initiative Foundation grants included funding for affordable housing, faith-based initiatives, mentorship programs, and lake and river preservation.
The Little Falls-based foundation awarded 20 community grants, totaling $201,400.
The Central Minnesota Housing Partnership received $50,000 to support an affordable housing staff position, which is the largest annual grant awarded by the foundation. Also receiving $25,000 each were Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota and the Region 5 Development Commission. Region 5 will help low-income families build their own homes in the Brainerd area.
The following organizations were selected as grant recipients:
* Cass County Economic Development Corp., Pine River; Cass County Manufacturers Alliance, $1,000, to support networking events that encourage information-sharing and collaboration between Cass County manufacturing businesses. Contact: Gail Leverson.
* Central Minnesota Housing Partnership, St. Cloud; Central Minnesota Affordable Housing Development, $50,000, to support a staff position dedicated to the development and preservation of affordable housing in central Minnesota. Contact: Sheri Harris.
* Crow Wing County United Way, Brainerd; HOP Follow-Up, $500, to update a strategic plan developed through the Initiative Foundation's Healthy Organizations Partnership program. Contact: Heidi Funk.
* Minnesota Technology Inc., Minneapolis; Synchronous Flow Lean Manufacturing Applications, $3,750, to provide training in time management and productivity for employees of Todd County manufacturing companies. Contact: Wayne Pletcher.
* Morrison County United Way, Little Falls; Early Childhood Imagination Library, $4,000, to support a free monthly book club for children age 5 and younger in Morrison County. Contact: Ted Pfohl.
* New Pathways Inc., Cambridge; Morrison County Housing Coalition Resource Guide, $150, to publish and distribute a local housing resource guide. Contact: Cheryl Gray.
* Oasis/Share A Meal Inc., Little Falls; 2005 Home Fix-Up, $2,500, to support volunteer teams in their annual effort to repair homes owned by seniors, people with disabilities and low-income families in Morrison County. Contact: Carol Schmidt.
* Region 5 Development Commission, Staples; Bootstraps Home Ownership Mentoring Project, $25,000, to help low-income families achieve financial stability and home ownership through local mentors and a self-help construction program. Contact: Robert Hutton.
* Region 5 Development Commission, Staples; Economic Development Finance Professional Certification, $500, to support staff certification in economic development. Contact: Robert Hutton.
* Rhythm of the Rails Inc., Brainerd; Site Relocation, $5,000, to offset planning costs for a community theater and a historical railroad theme-park. Contact: Jody Crowe.
* Riverview Church, Pine River; Warehouse Teen and Community Center, $9,000, to support a part-time staff member who will recruit and supervise volunteers serving fifth- to 12th-grade students. Contact: Sharon Fey.
The Initiative Foundation seeks projects that strengthen central Minnesota communities and address barriers to economic development. For more information, call the Initiative Foundation at 1-877-632-9255 toll-free or go online to www.ifound.org.
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