16th District Organizations Receive Nearly $1.5 Million in Starting Block Grants

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16th District Organizations Receive Nearly $1.5 Million in Starting Block Grants (Cook County, IL) — Fifteen organizations that work with communities and residents within Cook County’s 16th District received $1,459,740 in grant funding through Cook County’s Starting Block Grant initiative. The grants ranged from just over $80,000 to up to $100,000. Of the 15 organizations, Corazon Community Services and The Monroe Foundation are located directly in the 16th District.

The grant initiative is primarily funded through the Cook County Equity Special Purpose Fund, created to address historic and continued disinvestment and inequities in Cook County with additional funding from the grantmaking budget of the Cook County Justice Advisory Council (JAC). The JAC manages the Starting Block Grant initiative on behalf of the offices under the Cook County Board President.

“Throughout the 16th District, countless community organizations are doing incredible work for our residents,” said Cook County Commissioner Frank J. Aguilar. “These organizations know their communities, where the need is, and are in constant communications with residents and local stakeholders. I am so thrilled to see this funding go to the 16th District to help these organizations continue to do important work.”

The grant initiative provides support for capacity building projects including strategic planning, staff training, improvements in bookkeeping, data management, technology and more. The grant opportunity was open to Cook County non-profit organizations with an annual operating budget under $1 million. Organizations working in diverse service sectors from arts and culture to economic development were encouraged to apply.

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“Cook County’s Starting Block Grant initiative will act as a bridge, connecting community-based organizations to the support they need to innovate, grow and ultimately serve the community at a higher level,” said Avik Das, Executive Director of the JAC. “Often, government grants are focused on programming and services, but this grant initiative recognizes the need for organizations to invest in strengthening how they run and planning for the future. We are proud to be offering this opportunity that will help level the playing field and ensure the success of smaller organizations that are doing impactful, culturally responsive work in communities.”

A subsequent grant award cycle is planned for later in 2024. To learn more about the Cook County Starting Block Grant initiative, visit CookCountyIL.gov/JACGrants

A list of each organization and the grant funding they received can be found below:

  • Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance: $87,935
  • Chicago Community and Workers’ Rights: $100,000
  • Corazon Community Services: $100,000
  • Healing to Action: $100,000
  • John Howard Association of Illinois: $100,000
  • Latino Union of Chicago: $100,000
  • LEAP: $99,285
  • M.E.A.N. Girls Empowerment: $100,000
  • Rainbow for All Children: $80,574
  • Snow City Arts: $100,000
  • The Monroe Foundation: $99,146
  • Bridge to Freedom: $92,800
  • Changing Oasis: $100,000
  • The Firehouse Dream: $100,000
  • Un Nuevo Despertar – A New Awakening NFP: $100,000

16th District Organizations Receive Nearly $1.5 Million in Starting Block Grants


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