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2021 Community Fund Grants will Address Mental Health and Domestic Violence

The Pandemic effects in Northern Nevada reach beyond physical health and economic losses.

Isolation and anxiety intensify the problem of a lack of mental health services that has persisted in our community for years. As people struggle, service providers are adapting to provide virtual care when possible and outreach to vulnerable populations. Renown Health and Washoe County Health District Community Health Plan, 2018 – 2021, identifies Mental Health as our region’s #1 priority. As we work together to stay safe, mental health professionals and agencies understand from the increase in need rising from pandemic related stress that everyone is vulnerable. Renown’s Behavioral Health and Addiction Institute recently shared that “Nevada has the highest prevalence of mental illness and substance use in the nation combined with limited access to treatment and a shortage of care providers.”

Demand for Domestic Violence Services is up while funding is down.

It was news to me and maybe to you, that marriage license fees help support domestic violence shelters in northern Nevada. Few people travel now for a destination Nevada wedding, and local weddings are postponed until families and friends can celebrate in style and safety. Estimates are that domestic violence services expect to lose $2 million in funding due to the 87% decrease in Nevada marriages and the revenues lost from marriage licenses and other associated fees. Stories in the Reno Gazette-Journal and The Nevada Independent shed light on the issue. Agencies addressing domestic violence are meeting a growing need for their services this year. One agency experienced a 123% increase at the emergency shelter program January – June 2020 compared to the same period last year. Shelters are at full capacity and are increasing access to services by providing hotel rooms for those looking to flee unsafe situations immediately. The 2021 Community Fund grants will help agencies reach out to those who are trapped, isolated, and in danger.

Connecting and caring is central to the Community Foundation mission.

The Community Foundation Board has chosen to direct the 2021 Community Fund grants to support entities or organizations that address mental health or domestic violence issues and provide connection and care to the most isolated and vulnerable among us. The online Letter of Intent form is open for nonprofit providers to submit brief descriptions of their programs and funding requests. The Community Fund Advisory Committee will vet submissions and select the organizations from which they would like to see a full grant proposal. Please feel free to share this link to the online Letter of Intent Form. The deadline for submission to the Community Foundation is October 31, 2020.

If you want to help by making a grant from your donor advised fund to alleviate these issues that affect young and old residents of all our community neighborhoods, please contact Program Officers, Lyndsey Crossley or Lauren Renda, 775-333-5499. If you are not a fundholder but would like to donate to the Community Fund to augment 2021 grants for these critical issues, we welcome your contributions.  The Community Endowment will continue to grow and make annual grants to meeting pressing needs.  Your gift to the Community Endowment will keep giving, forever.  Donate Now. You are needed, and you can make a difference to someone in our community.

Margaret Stewart Communications Director  

Connecting people who care with causes that matter.