The Health Foundation is pleased to announce the 2019 Activation Fund grants totaling nearly $800,000:

Abby’s House – $75,012 to identify unmet advocacy and health needs of their clients and to expand access to services through collaborations.

Ascentria Care Alliance – $81,600 to expand its low-cost Immigration Legal Assistance Program from limited to full representation in immigration matters.

Community Legal Aid – $86,482 to hire a housing attorney who will raise funds by representing low income tenants in eviction and conditions cases where attorney’s fees can be collected from the landlord.

Friendly House – $34,160 for the purchase of a refrigerated van to transport meals for its After School and Summer Meals Program for low-income children. This project is in partnership with the City of Worcester.

GAAMHA, Inc. – $43,288 to hire a part-time Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) clinician for its community-based day programs located in Gardner and Orange.

LUK, Inc. – $104,648 to utilize telehealth to increase access to behavioral health services and family visitations in the North Central area by implementing telehealth.

Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts – $100,800 for Neighbor to Neighbor to ramp up their door-to-door grassroots organizing to assist in complete counts for the 2020 Census and to reengage the Worcester community.

Quaboag Valley Community Development Corporation – $28,000 to train three staff members in order to provide first-time homebuyer assistance to expand its offerings related to financial skills building.

Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) – $45,809 to develop and implement an Oral Health Career Pathway for students in Dental Assisting Programs at three local secondary and post-secondary schools into the Dental Hygiene Program at QCC.

Seven Hills Foundation – $109,903 to create a new workforce training program with sustainable farming as a potential career path for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) – $84,000 for the installation of an automatic fire sprinkler system and handicap accessible features in a building in Fitchburg that SMOC is renovating. The renovation will create new single room occupancy units for 14 low-income homeless or formerly homeless single unaccompanied adults in recovery.

“Throughout Worcester County there are many outstanding health, education, and human service agencies and organizations which are staffed by caring and compassionate individuals who are providing critical services to those in greatest need of these services,” said Francis M. Saba, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation. “Each year, our Foundation learns about the wonderful work occurring in these agencies through the application process for support through our Activation Fund. In 2019, after an application process which included 38 letters of intent received from 37 organizations, rigorously managed by the Foundation staff, our Foundation was able to provide $793,702 in financial support to 11 agencies. For our Foundation it is gratifying to know that through the Activation Fund, we are able to help many agencies and organizations continue their important missions,” Saba added.

“The goal of the Activation Fund is to enable an organization to move to a higher level of capacity and to then continue to function at that higher level after the grant ends,” noted Dr. Jan Yost, President and CEO of the Foundation. Yost explained that Activation Fund grants typically are for one-year projects that demonstrate a creative and innovative approach to alleviate an existing community health concern or that address an emerging health challenge in the region.