The $511,000 had to be stretched across $546,793 in requests, which had been ratcheted down from the total of $648,197 from 35 organizations.
The $648,197 is in line with the average over the last three years, which has been about $690,000.
Historically, the $5 million in grants that have been made since were made based on $10 million in requests.
The top 10 nonprofits by their recommended allocations were: Hoosier Hills Food Bank ($35,000); New Hope for Families ($35,000); St. Vincent DePaul ($30,000); Tandem Community Birth Center and Postpartum House ($30,000); LIFEDesigns Inc. ($28,676); Community Justice and Mediation Center ($27,424); Beacon Inc. (Shalom Center) ($25,000); Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington ($24,000); My Sister’s Closet of Monroe County ($22,400); and Monroe County United Ministries ($22,000).
On Thursday evening, Sam Ujdak, who’s the grants manager for Middle Way House, described a truck the nonprofit is hoping to replace: “Our current truck is a 1996 Chevy S-10 with an indeterminate amount of miles. Significant parts of the dashboard are broken.”
Ujdak continued, “I’ve driven the truck several times over the last couple of years with a significant payload. And it is terrifying. And it’s a pretty liberal use of the word ‘truck’.”
Middle Way House helps find permanent housing solutions to support survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.
The nonprofit was one of 32 local organizations that on Thursday presented their pitches for project funding from the Jack Hopkins social services funding committee. It’s a city council and citizen committee that will be awarding about a half million dollars in funding this year.
The committee will be making decisions on this year’s grants in mid-May.
This year, the amount available to the committee to award is $511,000. That’s $200,000 more than has been awarded over the last few years.
The extra funding was allocated as part of the 2021 budget, in the second phase of Bloomington mayor John Hamilton’s Recover Forward initiative, which is meant to help Bloomington bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A second round of Jack Hopkins social services funding this year has pushed the historical amount of awards to $5,006,856. The program started in 1993.
On Monday night, the Bloomington city council’s Jack Hopkins committee made recommendations for awards to 25 different local social services nonprofits totaling $224,905. A total of $591,599 had been requested by the applicants.
The five largest awards are recommended to go to Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard ($19,100), Shalom Community Center, Inc. [Beacon] ($17,500), Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana ($15,000), Bloomington St. Vincent de Paul ($15,000), and New Hope Family Shelter, Inc. ($14,020).
The city council will have the awards on its Nov. 18 meeting agenda for final approval.
At its meeting on Wednesday, Bloomington’s city council accepted the recommendation of its Jack Hopkins social services funding committee and approved the allocation of $318,795 in funding for requests from 24 different nonprofits.
The program has awarded almost $4.5 million dollars to local social services nonprofits since 1993. In the last few years, the amount has been around $300,000 each year.
On Monday, the Jack Hopkins social services funding committee rejected seven of the applications outright, for various reasons. But a significant gap remains between the $640,493 in requests that are still being considered and the $319,000 in funding that’s available this year.
Mentioned at Monday’s meeting as a possibility for some rejected project proposals, or those that are given only partial awards, is funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The money is being awarded through the existing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program to cities across the country.
The Jack Hopkins social services funding committee met on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. (Dave Askins/Square Beacon)
In the first week of March, Bloomington area social service agencies will start receiving solicitations to apply for this year’s round of Jack Hopkins social services funding. That’s part of the schedule that the funding committee voted to adopt at its meeting last Thursday.
The $311,000 worth of funding available this year comes from the city’s general fund. That’s a $6,000 increase (about 2 percent) compared to last year. The amount gets determined each fall when the annual budget is approved.