The California Wellness Foundation has announced grants totaling $15 million in support of gun violence prevention efforts, an accurate 2020 census count, and preventive health services, as well as program-related investments totaling $2 million.
Grants aimed at ensuring an accurate census count in California include $150,000 to Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees and $825,000 to the Advancement Project, which includes funding to help the Census Policy Advocacy Network educate policy makers and advocates representing hard-to-count groups about policies needed to ensure a fair and accurate census.
Grants awarded in support of efforts to prevent gun violence include $1.25 million to build the capacity of the Hope and Heal Fund, which works to generate awareness, mobilize community-based advocates, and inspire greater investment in gun violence research and prevention efforts; and $50,000 to the National Network of Hospital-Based Violence Intervention in support of the expansion of policy models that include interventions in the emergency department and/or at the hospital bedside, followed by intensive community-based case management services.
The foundation also awarded a number of grants in support of preventive health services, including dental care for low-income adults and seniors, a particularly unmet need. Grants include an award of $450,000 to Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital's Advanced Care Clinic in South Los Angeles, one of the poorest communities in the country, for the delivery of outpatient specialty care.
The foundation's first program-related investments will provide $1 million each to two community development financial institutions, the Rural Community Assistance Corporation and the Opportunity Fund, which will use the funds to make loans to underresourced entrepreneurs and small businesses working in vulnerable communities and to support the development of infrastructure critical to community health. RCAC is a leading lender in rural and tribal areas and finances infrastructure such as drinking water and waste-water systems for tribes and local governments in California, while the Opportunity Fund focuses on advancing the economic well-being of working people. The PRIs are part of a $50 million mission-related investment commitment made by the foundation's board to make investments beyond its grantmaking aimed at improving the health of underserved communities.
"Grantmaking alone isn't enough to achieve our goal of removing barriers that keep Californians from achieving health and wellness," said Joe Lumarda, who served as the foundation's board chair and chaired the finance committee as the PRIs were being developed. "These investments allow us to leverage more of our endowment to improve the lives of Californians."
For a complete list of grants, see the California Wellness Foundation website.