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20th Anniversary Grant Winners

The Moment You've All Been Waiting For!

We have winners!

The voters have spoken — almost 25,000 of them – and we are thrilled to reveal the winners of our 20th Anniversary Grant Competition below. Congratulations to our champs, and thanks to all the organizations that entered so many wonderful ideas. And special thanks to the landslide of voters who decided which entries would receive our three $20,000 grand prizes.

Education for Economic Success

Winner!

3,224 Votes or 38%

Windham Regional Community Council, Inc.

Proposal summary: The Windham “Community Academy” builds the capacity of the Windham Youth CORE, GROW Windham’s award-winning high-school workforce and leadership development program, to reach more youth and have a deeper impact on participants. This proposal will transform the program from one that serves youth to one that is youth-led, providing participants steady employment and opportunities to grow into positions of increased responsibility and independence. Supported by professional mentors, program staff, and university interns, youth participants develop enterprises that promote access to healthy food in Windham, one of Connecticut’s most under-resourced communities. Through this process, they build career portfolios, gain community advocacy skills, and earn leadership certificates that prepare them to build and teach a network of their peers.

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1st Runner Up

3,023 votes or 36%

New Haven Works, Inc.

Proposal summary: New Haven Works is a partnership between government, community, labor and the private sector to strengthen the middle class in New Haven and improve economic stability in all communities by providing employers access to a qualified, pre-screened workforce and connecting New Haven residents to good jobs. This Spring, New Haven Works placed its 1,000th member into a job. With support from the Liberty Bank Foundation, we can address the high demand for our services by moving our intake process online, saving time for participants and ultimately serving more residents. We can also update our computer hardware and software to meet our participants’ needs. With the Liberty Bank Foundation’s help, we can set our sights on helping the next 1,000 New Haven residents obtain good jobs with local employers.
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2nd Runner Up

2,179 votes or 26%

Ädelbrook, Inc.

Proposal summary: Ädelbrook's priority is to increase future economic success for young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Developmental Disabilities through state-of-the-art STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) education. Our project wish is to strengthen our STEAM curriculum by creating Innovation Labs in our Cromwell and Middletown schools. Our vision is that the labs will ignite and excite a passion for education in our young people, and provide future-focused vocational and job training. Using the lab’s graphics and 3D capabilities, student teams will create tangible items to be used or sold in The Barkery, our educational job training store; a win-win situation. Our 'secret sauce' is that we hire only the most motivated, qualified, positive and creative educators to work with our young people.
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Affordable and Supportive Housing

Winner!

3,842 votes or 44%

Middlesex Habitat for Humanity

Proposal summary: An increase in staff will provide an environment of consistency and we have shown when we can surround ourselves with people who share a passion around a common purpose, we can accomplish great things. We aren’t in a position to take this leap on our own—that’s why this grant is such an opportunity for us—it allows us to take the next step. We will continually monitor and measure the impact of the new position and if the result is impactful we will continue with the position. Increasing our capacity in the ReStore will continue to prove that you don’t have to lift a hammer to help us build a house.

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1st Runner Up

3,661 votes or 42%

Columbus House, Inc.

Proposal summary: For 35 years, Columbus House has served people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless by providing shelter and housing, and by fostering their personal growth and independence. Over the next five years, in partnership with Yale School of Architecture, five modularly-constructed duplexes will be designed and built (one per year at $200,000 each) which Columbus House will own in order to house and reintegrate into their New Haven community those experiencing homelessness. By utilizing principles of affordability, sustainability and replicability, this partnership can forever change how academia, industry and homeless services agencies address the severe lack of affordable housing in Connecticut. A Liberty Bank Foundation anniversary grant will help lay the foundation for this first home and help leverage additional funding.
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2nd Runner Up

1,157 votes or 13%

Capital for Change

Proposal summary: Capital for Change is a nonprofit CDFI that provides flexible financing and offers technical assistance to borrowers to promote affordable housing, energy efficiency, the success of non-profit organizations and small businesses. This project will advance our Socially Responsible Investor program through which C4C invites investments from individuals, foundations, faith-based groups and nonprofit organizations aligned with its values. This grant will help leverage the resources necessary to launch a state-wide multi-media outreach campaign that will consist of the engagement of a professional advertising firm to create a formal program marketing plan, development of new print and online materials, and to help us promote a seminar series with speakers who are experts in community development.
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Basic Needs

Winner!

3,364 votes or 43%

Windham Region No Freeze Project

Proposal summary: The Northeast Youth Engagement Team would like to create a street outreach team to engage and provide information for young people in our region. Our target population is youth between the ages of 18-24 who are experiencing housing instability or homelessness. This is our first step in addressing the state's goal to end youth and family homelessness by the end of the year 2020. The street team will set up regularly in places where youth frequent. They will provide food items, snacks, toiletries, phone cards, bus passes, gift cards, and other necessary items in an effort to help youth connect or reconnect with families or services who can help them gain access to stable housing.
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1st Runner Up

3,225 votes or 42%

Connecticut Veterans Legal Center

Proposal summary: CVLC needs a database. CVLC's Director of Operations, Cindy Johnson, built our current database herself using free online software. CVLC has served almost 2,000 veterans since Cindy built this system and while it has served us well for many years, it is about to reach maximum capacity. New software is necessary to continue to meet the legal needs of CT's veterans. New legal casework software will: (1) Bring CVLC’s capabilities on par with peer legal service provider organizations, (2) Increase CVLC’s ability to track and analyze legal work and case outcomes, (3) Allow for enhanced integration between CVCL’s document management, client communications, time tracking, and legal data, and (4) Increase CVLC’s efficiency through use of templates for client communication letters and legal-issue-specific information tracking.
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2nd Runner Up

1,186 votes or 15%

Valley United Way

Proposal summary: Join VUW in partnership to empower the food insecure families/individuals of Ansonia and Derby CT. We developed and mastermind impactful programs that address the rising need for food security including Harvest House, Food Security Task Force, and the Grow Your Own (GYO) Neighborhood Garden Program. We seek to capitalize on the momentum of the GYO Program by adding more raised gardens, installing fencing, building tool sheds, and adding more educational/service opportunities. Recent data indicates that: 50-67% of students receive free and reduced lunch, 786 Households have no vehicle to get to the food pantries, and 42% of households receive SNAP benefits. We are winning the fight to eliminate food insecurity in these neighborhoods, we anxiously await partnering with Liberty Bank.
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