Zilber Family Foundation announced today that its Board of Directors awarded 23 grants totaling $3,020,000 to nonprofit organizations in Milwaukee. The grants support local organizations that deliver affordable housing and community economic development services in the Zilber Neighborhood Initiative’s (ZNI) three targeted neighborhoods. Additional grants support the Foundation’s Legacy programs, organizations focused on youth development and basic human needs citywide.
Since 2008, the Foundation has invested more than $50 million in improving the quality of life in Lindsay Heights, Clarke Square, and Layton Boulevard West through the Zilber Neighborhood Initiative. “Thanks to the good work of our nonprofit partners, together we realized significant accomplishments in the first ten years of the Initiative,” said Marcy Jackson, president of the Board of Directors. “There is still work to be done, and we remain committed to the Initiative as our primary focus for the next five years, particularly in the critical areas of housing and economic development.” The July awards are the first round of grants in support of the Foundation’s updated five-year funding strategy.
Recently awarded Zilber Neighborhood Initiative grants include:
- $80,000 to Fondy Food Center to expand support for small family farmers and local food entrepreneurs, while improving healthy food access at the Fondy Farmers Market in Lindsay Heights. Fondy Food Center brings healthy food access and economic opportunity to residents of Lindsay Heights and other city neighborhoods by operating its farmers markets, providing access to land and resources for small-scale farmers, and collaborating to build more vibrant public spaces. Ongoing improvements to the Market and the adjacent Fondy Park will allow for the expansion of small businesses, evening markets, and pop-up events in partnership with residents and neighborhood-based organizations.
- $200,000 to support Financial Opportunity Centers (FOC) at Journey House, Milwaukee JobsWork, and Riverworks Development Corporation. FOCs are career and financial coaching service centers that help low- to moderate-income people build smart money habits and focus on improving their financial bottom line. Participants develop household budgets and reduce debt, gain access to public benefits, improve credit scores and net income, and obtain employment. The cornerstone of the FOC model is providing integrated services with a long-term commitment to helping clients achieve concrete gains in net income and job retention.
- $200,000 to ACTS Housing to support affordable homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income families in ZNI neighborhoods. Since its founding, ACTS has helped 2,544 families become homeowners and reclaimed more than 880 foreclosed properties. ACTS families have invested more than $138 million in Milwaukee through purchase and rehabilitation of homes.
- $150,000 to Housing Resources, Inc. (HRI) to support homebuyer education and counseling services for low-and moderate-income families in ZNI neighborhoods. In 2018, HRI assisted more than 300 families with the purchase of their first homes and provided one-on-one counseling sessions with approximately 800 families who are working towards their dream of homeownership.
Recently awarded Legacy grants include:
- $150,000 to Guest House of Milwaukee to support housing, shelter, education, and other services to address the root causes of homelessness and help clients maintain, gain, or sustain personal autonomy and independent living. Guest House programs support individuals struggling to maintain stable mental health, overcome addictions, have a history with the criminal justice system, and are chronically homeless. More than 1,500 individuals and families benefit from the Guest House’s programs and services each year.
- $300,000 to Neu-Life Community Development to support year-round programs for youth and young adults. Neu-Life’s after school and summer programs, including academic enrichment, creative arts, health and wellness, gardening and nutrition, leadership development, and civic engagement, empower youth with skills and strategies to make better life choices. More than 2,800 youth and families attend Neu-Life’s four north side locations each year.
Additional ZNI and Legacy grants were provided to Milwaukee nonprofit organizations including Artists Working in Education, Cathedral Center, Data You Can Use, LISC Milwaukee, Meta House, Milwaukee Center for Independence, North Avenue/Fond du Lac Marketplace BID #32, Penfield Children’s Center, Playworks, Riveredge Nature Center, Ronald Reagan IB High School, Safe & Sound, Wisconsin Voices, and Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. A complete list of grant recipients is available on the Foundation’s website.
About the Zilber Family Foundation
Formed in 1961 by Joseph J. Zilber, the Zilber Family Foundation is a private independent grantmaking institution dedicated to enhancing the well-being of individuals, families, and neighborhoods by supporting nonprofits to address basic needs and personal safety, increase access to social and economic opportunity, and improve the quality of life in neighborhoods. For more information, please visit: www.zilberfamilyfoundation.org.