Basic Needs fund set new high by topping $900,000 in grants

Written by: Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region


APPLETON – The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region has awarded the highest grant total in the eight-year history of its Basic Needs Giving Partnership – more than $900,000 given for programs fighting the root causes of poverty by addressing such issues as mental illness, drug and alcohol addiction and unreliable transportation.

The Basic Needs Giving Partnership is funded by the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs within the Community Foundation from the annual U.S. Venture Open golf outing, with matching money from the J. J. Keller Foundation and other contributors.

All of the projects in this round of grants are collaborations involving more than one nonprofit organization or government agency.

Vicki Running, who chairs the Basic Needs Grants Committee, said this round of grant-making was not only large in the dollar amount awarded, but in the number of nonprofits participating and the amount of collaboration.

“It was an exciting grant cycle,” she said. “The vision that the people had in establishing the Basic Needs Giving Partnership is becoming a reality.”

Grant recipients of the $911,078 include:

Catalpa Health: A day treatment center that provides intensive mental health services for youth in grades 7 to 12. Collaborator: CESA 6. $300,000 over three years.

Catalpa Health YESS! program: A comprehensive mental health program in the Hortonville Area School District designed by a group of mental health providers. Collaborators: Samaritan Counseling Center, NAMI Fox Valley and Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin. $201,000 over three years.

COTS Inc.: To plan a new mentoring program serving people who are nearly homeless and chronically homeless. Collaborator: Fox Valley Warming Shelter. $4,275.

Harbor House Domestic Abuse Programs: To pilot a regional “garage for good” offering survivors of domestic violence access to and education on car repair and maintenance and career opportunities in the automotive industry. Collaborator: Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services. $78,000.

Riverview Gardens: A structured job training program and job placement for veterans who have been offered an alternative to incarceration by the court system. Collaborator: Outagamie County Veterans Treatment Court. $177,803 over three years.

STEP Industries: To open a “Sober Living House,” helping 18 to 22 addicts a year leave treatment and build new lives with peer support. Collaborators: Mooring Programs and Nova Counseling. $150,000 over three years.

For more information:

Tammy Williams, VP Marketing & Communications Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region (920) 830-1290 –

Mary Harp-Jirschele, Executive Director J. J. Keller Foundation p: 920-720-7872 cell: 920-205-2536

Greg Vandenberg, Director of Giving & Community Engagement, U.S. Venture, 920-243-5798,