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CLEVELAND -- The board of directors of the Cleveland Foundation has authorized $9.4 million in grants in the third quarter of 2013 to local nonprofit organizations for programs in community health, youth development, public education reform, economic development, and other vital areas.

This brings the year-to-date total for the foundation's grantmaking to $71.1 million.

Among those receiving funding this quarter:

Community Health The board approved a $500,000 grant to Care Alliance to support construction of a new health clinic in the Central neighborhood. Care Alliance is a nonprofit federally Qualified Health Center that provides primary medical care, dental care, and support services to individuals and families who are homeless, living in or around public housing, and who are uninsured or underinsured. Last year, Care Alliance provided services to more than 9,500 patients living below the poverty level.

Care Alliance was awarded $5 million in federal funding in April 2012 for the new clinic, with a stipulation that construction be completed by May 2015. "We are pleased to support this project, which will help fill a gap in primary care services for this vulnerable population on the eastside," said Robert E. Eckardt, executive vice president of the Cleveland Foundation. "We hope our gift encourages other organizations to quickly step forward with grants and New Market Tax Credits. As the clock slowly counts down on the deadline set by the federal government, it would be a tragedy for the community to lose this funding, potentially jeopardizing the new clinic."

Other grant support in the area of community health includes:

  • $250,000 to the Cleveland Foodbank to continue support of the organization's goal to increase distribution of fresh produce as part of its food services. The grant will help the Cleveland Foodbank grow its Mobile Pantry to more efficiently deliver donated produce to underserved areas in Cleveland and the suburbs. Also in support of the Foodbank's fresh produce goal, last year the Cleveland Foundation awarded a grant for an expanded cooler/freezer project, which the Foodbank plans to break ground for in upcoming weeks.
  • $150,000 to Community Assessment and Treatment Services, Inc. for a building expansion of its Broadway Avenue facility. The center, which provides mental health and addiction services in a community-based setting, anticipates that this project will allow it to treat up to 1,000 more inpatients and outpatients each year.

Public Education Reform The Cleveland Foundation is continuing its leadership support of the Cleveland Plan for Transforming Schools with nearly $1 million directed toward the Plan's goal to triple the number of high-performing district and charter schools and eliminate failing schools by 2018.

The $917,000 in funding focuses on promoting innovative Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) schools by continuing support of existing schools and by assisting with the design and planning for new schools expected to launch in 2014 and 2015.

Preserving Public Spaces The Cleveland Foundation board has authorized $100,000 to support the Trust for Public Land's Connecting Cleveland effort. This project aims to more directly connect residents and visitors to the region's natural treasures - from Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River through the park and trail systems to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The Cleveland Foundation helped bring the national organization, with a mission to preserve and protect open space for public enjoyment, to Cleveland in 1997. Throughout the past 16 years, TPL has worked with community organizations to acquire land for projects such as the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Towpath Trail and most recently has transformed former industrial land in the Flats into Rivergate Park.

Youth Development The board approved $250,000 to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland to help fund two new club locations - at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center in East Cleveland and within the Franklin D. Roosevelt School in the Glenville neighborhood. The FDR School site is the first part of a new partnership between the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland and the CMSD. The growth is part of the youth organization's goal to increase the number of local youth served to 2,000 per day. In addition to these new sites, Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland have four clubs in the Central, Slavic Village, Mount Pleasant, and Clark-Fulton neighborhoods.

Economic Development/Job Creation With a continued focus on future job creation in the city of Cleveland, the board authorized $255,000 to the Westside Industrial Retention and Expansion Network or WIRE-Net to support programs to accelerate the growth of core city manufacturers.

WIRE-Net's Urban Manufacturing Growth Accelerator will partner growing companies with experts at area economic development organizations to help them expand "smarter." In addition, the grant will support WIRE-Net's pilot Apprenticeship Accelerator program, which will link high school students and adult job seekers with apprenticeship opportunities to help fill the gap in trained workers for existing manufacturing jobs.

WIRE-Net works with small to midsize manufacturers in the city and throughout the region.

Special Honor The Cleveland Foundation is one of 12 community foundations from across the country chosen by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) for the 2013 Community Foundation Hall of Fame. The honor was presented at this week's Council on Foundations conference in San Diego.

The Cleveland Foundation was recognized "for leveraging reputation for LGBTQ equality" through its $250,000 grant to Gay Games 9 earlier this year. The grant made the foundation the first presenting sponsor in the Gay Games' 31-year history.

Next year's Council on Foundations conference will be held in Cleveland in honor of the Cleveland Foundation's centennial. Since the Cleveland Foundation is the world's first community foundation, 2014 also marks the birth of the community foundation field. Today there are more than 700 community foundations across the United States and 1,700 worldwide.

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