The Town of Essex Selectboard is encouraging local area nonprofit social, health and human services organizations to apply for support funding. Each year, Essex allocates 1% of their annual budget to community agencies that align with prioritized focus areas of need for Essex residents.
Organizations must apply each year and a review team scores applications based on the overall benefit to Essex residents and how each program meets human needs and improves quality of life through knowledge, prevention, remediation, direct service, and improved accessibility.
The prioritized focus areas for this funding cycle include:
Access to Health & Behavioral Health services eliminates barriers to essential health and human services for underserved populations. These barriers include language, cultural, geographic location, and lack of insurance and out of pocket costs.
Affordable Housing or Housing Assistance provides emergency shelter and/or homeless prevention services that keep people from losing their housing. This might include short-term supportive housing options and home repair for Essex residents.
Child or Family Support for Healthy Relationships increases the ability to be successful in living a healthy, independent and productive life. Programs focusing in this area provide developmentally appropriate services for youth and/or emotional supports to a specified population and could include mentors and role models, family supports, violence prevention, counseling and guidance services that will result in increased skill and the ability to become self-reliant.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion provides support for initiatives to build diversity, equity, and inclusion into the community or for program enhancement to build diversity, equity and inclusion into nonprofit program services, operations, board recruitment and staff hiring. Funding is provided to programs exploring ways to enhance access of program services to marginalized communities and/or offer culturally responsive services; promote diverse staffing or governance of programs; and/or support initiatives that build capacity. Examples would be improved language access, transportation, stipends to assist with travel/child care needs in order to have accessibility, or shifting engagement to intentionally seek to include marginalized perspectives and experiences.
Emergency Food & Disaster Relief programs provide nutritious food and disaster relief to people in need.
Nonprofit organizations providing programs that fit into one or more of these focus areas are eligible to apply. Last fiscal year, Essex provided $153,322 in funding to 22 qualified organizations. Funds have already been approved for FY22 and applications are now being accepted through February 15, 2022 to request support for nonprofit human services programs. For more information, please visit www.essexvt.org/humanservices.