The Princeton Area Community Foundation announced that it has awarded $539,000 to 20 non-profit organizations in Mercer County through its flagship grants program, Greater Mercer Grants.
Flagship grants are issued twice a year to support community organizations that help low-income individuals and build community across Mercer County.
“Greater Mercer Grants represents the cornerstone of the Community Foundation’s mission. It provides critical financial support to the bedrock institutions in our communities,” said Ca rolHerring, chair of the foundation’s board of trustees.
The grants will fund revitalization efforts in Trenton, human services throughout the county, and increased capacity at several non-profits.
Grants targeting economic development, community building and academic, arts and music enrichment programs for youth:
– The Trenton Downtown Association, a first-time grantee, was awarded $50,000 to pilot its East State Street re-engagement strategy. The initiative is based on the agency’s successful and similar Warren Street revitalization effort, and uses proven techniques including organizing clusters of adjacent property owners, re-engaging existing businesses, attracting new businesses, property upgrades, and erecting creative signage highlighting changes in the East State Street area.
– The Community Loan Fund of New Jersey works to transform communities through strategic investments of capital and knowledge. With a $25,000 grant the group will partner with a coalition of Trenton organizations to address a longstanding challenge: the city’s 3,300 abandoned properties. The Community Loan Fund will first conduct a comprehensive assessment of Trenton’s housing market, noting sales prices and volumes, tax sales, vacancies and other social indicators. Then they will build strategies to reclaim and repurpose many of the abandoned properties to reduce neighborhood blight and add to the tax rolls. For this project, the Community Loan Fund will partner with the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, Isles, Inc., the Shiloh Community Development Corporation, and Habitat for Humanity.
The Community Foundation also provided grants to organizations addressing local and countywide social issues in the areas of education, homelessness, food insecurity, immigration and youth development. The recipients are:
– Anchor House, Inc. has been awarded $10,000 for outreach to LGBTQ homeless youth in Mercer County.
– The Center for Supportive Schools has been awarded $25,000 to continue its work with Campaign Connect-Mercer, an initiative that works with Mercer County school districts to address students’ social and emotional needs and accelerate student achievement.
– Every Child Valued will received $20,000 for the Every Child Valued After School Program in Lawrenceville.
– The Latin American Legal Defense and Educational Fund will receive $25,000 for the Welcome House/Casa de Bienvenida Community Center in Trenton.
– Meals on Wheels of Trenton/Ewing has been awarded $15,000 for subsidized meal programs in Trenton and Ewing.
-The Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness has been awarded $25,000 to support programming that addresses single homeless individuals in Mercer County.
-The Mercer Street Friends Center has been awarded $25,000 for hunger relief and prevention programs in Mercer County.
– New Jersey SEEDS will receive $15,000 for its College Preparatory Program for Trenton Central High School students.
– RISE/A Community Service Partnership has been awarded $25,000 for the Rise Summer Academic Enrichment Program in Hightstown.
– The Shiloh Community Development Corporation has been awarded $25,000 for the Children’s Defense Fund – Freedom School Summer Program in Trenton.
– The Citizens Campaign will receive $30,000 for the Trenton Civic Trust: From Actions to Sustainability, which trains and empowers Trenton residents to become advocates.
– The Trenton Community Music School will receive $25,000 to expand El Sistema-Trenton, a music instruction program.
– Young Audiences of New Jersey & Eastern PA has been awarded $24,000 for the Trenton Adopt-a-School Initiative to bring arts programming to Trenton public schools.
Unrestricted grants are another priority for the Community Foundation, allowing a nonprofit organization to build and strengthen its capacity to better serve low-income families. The organizations receiving unrestricted support are:
– Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mercer County, $35,000.
– The Crisis Ministry of Mercer County, $35,000.
– The Millhill Child & Family Development Corporation, $35,000.
– Princeton Nursery School, $25,000.
– UIH Family Partners, $45,000.