Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation Awards Funding to GRACE House


GRACE House was awarded funding to help with homeless prevention and assistance. “GRACE House provides resources to those experiencing homelessness and those in danger of becoming homeless,” says Brianna Spry, Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation Program Administrator. “We are pleased to be able to help support this work.”

GRACE House of Itasca County provides safe, temporary shelter to individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness, people in imminent danger of becoming homeless, and non-residents who are temporarily in our area, and connects them to community resources.


PHOTO: (L-R) Cathy Sayward, of Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation, presents Ron Oleheiser, Executive Director of GRACE House, with grants for the Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program.


Homeless Prevention and Assistance

Funds will assist those in need with ID cards, housing application fees, gas cards, bus tickets, simple car repairs and motel/camping fees. Most of the funds are used to assist guests of GRACE House, but assistance is also offered to others referred by partner agencies. Last year GRACE House assisted almost 90 individuals who were not guests at the facility.

GRACE House provides safe, temporary shelter to the homeless. Temporary means up to a 30-day stay. During this time, qualified guests can receive help creating a plan for the next phase of their life, with most time spent on housing and employment. The Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program is an important component of helping guests expedite their housing and employment. This is where housing application fees, a bus voucher to get to an interview for housing or employment, and assistance with ID cards are needed.

GRACE House was awarded $1,500 in grants specifically for the Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program though our Annual Grant Cycle by the Larry and C. Jeanne Cook Memorial Fund and Barzen Fund. Five Donor Advised Funds awarded grants to GRACE House throughout 2019, providing a total of $4,750 in funding for our local homeless shelter.

Sarah Copeland, Director of Grants and Programs at the Foundation states, “This is another great example of what Donor Advised Funds can achieve. You might read about the good some funds are doing, but there are more Donor Advised Funds behind the scenes, quietly having significant impact on all aspects of our communities. Brianna Spry and I often talk about how fortunate we are that when someone asks what we did at work today, we can say we helped someone find a place to live, or get to a job interview. That’s a great feeling, but we were just a small part in that process. The people with the Donor Advised Funds made that happen.

The Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation has supported Giving and Gifting in our community by offering Donor Advised Funds for over 25 years. “What good do you want your money to do?” We invite you to become part of the good work we do, and include us in the conversation with your financial advisor or estate planner. For more information, schedule a visit by calling (218) 999-9100.

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350 NW 1st Ave, Suite E  | Grand Rapids, MN 55744  |  218-999-9100

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