Change Maker Grant of $100,000
Unconditional Indy, the 2023 Change Maker $100,000 grant recipient, is on track with the implementation of The Bridge, a holistic housing assistance program for women who have transitioned out of sex work. With the goal of moving these women closer to their long-term dreams and goals.
Participants receive 50% of their rent sponsored for one year, along with being matched with wellness and career mentors, a monthly support/recovery group, four financial literacy classes and three career classes throughout the year. Funding from Impact 100 will allow for the expansion and deepening of this program, including enrolling more women, providing more support for the mentors, and ultimately, giving women in our community the stability they need.
The Bridge is already changing lives:
- One pregnant client had been threatened with eviction. Once in the program, the eviction was prevented, and she and her baby are secure in their home.
- With the support she had from the program, another client was able to keep her home after an eviction notice, and found the strength to end an abusive relationship.
- One woman completely left the industry after enrolling in The Bridge.
- Another, who had been out of the industry for ten years but still felt she had no future, is totally engaged in Unconditonal’s programs and has shown leadership skills impacting other participants.
- After having been trafficked since she was eleven years old, a woman who had never known how to manage her own money or stay on the right path says the program is transforming her life.
Community Support Grants of $13,000
Indiana Artisan works with Central Indiana creatives who make exceptional art, food, and beverage, but struggle to develop or manage a business. In their year-end report they said this: For a small nonprofit organization like Indiana Artisan, receiving unrestricted funds is akin to getting a surprise check from a great-aunt you never met. The Impact 100 funds gave us breathing room in a tight budget to do some unique and unbudgeted things that benefitted artisans, our central Indiana community and the organization as a whole.
Indiana Artisan chose to split up the $13,000 to fund several programs and events. Each was successful in its own right. A few of the specific successes achieved with the grant funds are:
- Held a high school art exhibit in their Carmel Store, and allowed those attending to vote for the ones they liked best. The top four were awarded $500 scholarships. This activity introduced the store to new people and let Indiana Artisan provide monetary support to future artists.
- Commissioned a wood artist to build a Free Little Art Gallery (FLAG) holding small pieces or art instead of books. Indiana Artisan will invite groups from various cultures to “own” the gallery each month, sharing art from their culture. This will raise awareness of the organization and the art of other cultures.
- Sponsored drum circles during the September gallery walk in the Carmel Arts District. The drum circles connected diverse communities, celebrated cultural diversity, and inspired creativity. People loved it.
- Hired a facilitator to lead a strategic planning session for the Board of Directors. They now have the start of a five-year artisan-centric plan to further their mission.
- Funded Indiana Artisan Marketplace Booth awards. Awards included Best First-year Booth, Best Art Booth, Best Food Booth, and Best of Show. First-rate booths are an attraction in an art show, increasing attendance and art sales.
Freewheelin’ Community Bikes (FCB) teaches essential life skills over a shared passion for the bicycle. The organization provides accessible bicycles to a very vulnerable population of Indianapolis youth (ages 8-18), improving their physical and mental well-being. FCB has seen success in its Changing Tires Changing Lives Program, which teaches youth both science, technology, engineering, and math skills and social emotional learning concepts. They used their $13,000 Community Support Grant to:
- Funds were immediatly used to provide bicycle instruction programming at the Project Will Summer Camp.
- Expand the Mobile Outreach Team by hiring an additional staff member.
- Purchase a brand-new fleet of bikes. The new bikes were used to show students how bikes are used as sustainable transportation and how to ride safely in an urban environment. They provided safe and reliable transportation to students who did not have a bike and those whose bikes were not currently in operable condition.
- Purchase tablets for instruction and testing of enrolled students in the program. These tablets allow us to teach mechanics with pictures, visuals, and videos rather than just written material. These tablets are especially useful for students with lower reading levels, language barriers, or special learning styles.
Community Alliance for the Far Eastside (CAFE) is planning a Community Orchard and Greenspace on a two-acre plot of land adjacent to the CAFE community center facility to help revitalize their neighborhood with access to fresh produce and a greenspace; social, recreation and entertainment opportunities; and safety and community building. They said the $13,000 unrestricted grant strengthened their organization by providing the flexibility to respond to changing circumstances and address immediate priorities without the constraints normally imposed by restricted funding.
Specific uses for the grant dollars include:
- Purchase of a custom concrete pad for a storage container in the community orchard. The orchard is home to a beautiful urban greenspace complete with garden beds, fruit/nut barring trees, outside community space and walking trail, and the concrete pad and storage container is critical for the orchard’s support and maintenance.
- Fund the infrastructure for outdoor electrical outlets and Wi-Fi routers. This infrastructure supports both the orchard and community space, and the outdoor events held there.
Step-Up, Inc. provides essential HIV, STD and hepatitis C testing, prevention, and supportive services for Black, Latinx, justice-impacted, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized communities in Indiana. They work to meet people where they are, seeing the needs of each individual and eliminating barriers, promoting harm reduction, and hiring individuals representative of those they serve.
Outreach staff had been asking for more first aid supplies because they encountered many individuals with cuts and abrasions that were infected, or on the brink of infection. They Step-Up budget did not have the extra funds for more than basic supplies. With the unrestricted Community Support Grant of $13,000 they were able only purchase essential wound care supplies, and to train staff on helping their clients learn how to care for their wounds and to know when they should seek medical care.
Armed with more medical supplies and training, the outreach staff not only increased general wound care but led to a stronger, more prepared agency and more trust with their clients. The outreach staff reported the following specific results in the last six months of 2023:
- Over 500 individuals engaged during street outreach excursions since receiving the grant in June, 2023, received a comprehensive wound care kit and training in basic first aid. Of these:
- 55% of all program participants identify as Black, Latine, Asian, Indigenous, or Multiracial.
- 32% identify within the Queer and Transgender community.
- 41% of program participants have experienced incarceration at one point in their life.
- 14% were currently involved in exchanging sex for something needed.
- Nearly 1000 comprehensive wound care kits were distributed to clients.
- Staff increased their distribution of feminine hygiene supplies and pregnancy tests to individuals assigned female at birth.
- 60% of individuals engaged during street outreach received an HIV, STD, or Hepatitis C (HCV) rapid test.
- Roughly 75% of individuals who were newly diagnosed with HIV or HCV were successfully linked into supportive and medical care.
- Staff distributed 250 safe use kits, 294 safe smoking kits, 500 doses of nasal Narcan, and 250 fentanyl test strips.
You can always review our most recent Annual Giving Report to learn more about Impact 100 and the nonprofits our grants have funded.