Community Foundation Awards $411,000 in Special Project Grants

Major recipients include Reins of Life and Imani Unidad, Inc.

As part of its 2024 spring grants cycle, the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County has awarded $411,000 to the following organizations:

Reins of Life: $150,000
Funds will be used for Reins of Life’s capital expansion project which will include a weather-protected entrance and accessible parking lot, classroom with an adjacent bathroom, conference room, private spaces for staff, volunteers and medical professionals, enlargement of the indoor arena, additional horse stalls, tack room, a fire suppression system and handicap-accessible walkways. With the proposed additions, Reins will significantly improve their ability to fulfill the current demand, anticipate growing enrollment by 25%, and will continue to deliver high-quality, consistent programming.


Imani Unidad, Inc.: $94,000
As a trusted voice, ally, and advocate for St. Joseph County, Imani is an ideal partner with underserved and underrepresented stakeholders in the community. Funds will support Imani’s program expansion with a two-prong strategy: 1) to relocate the program team into its newly donated renovated facility at 2806 Lincoln Way, South Bend and 2) hiring an Outreach Manager position. Building renovations will create adequate and improved space for drop-in services and programs that Imani provides, such as HIV/HCV testing and connection to community resources, a confidential counseling room, education, training, and hosting of multiple programs such as Imani’s peer individual and group supports. The lower level has a small, outdated kitchen that will be updated to a small commercial kitchen to host nutrition and cooking classes and serve as an additional resource.


LOGAN: $55,000
Through recent federal and state changes, LOGAN has been challenged to reimagine their service delivery model for clients receiving day services. Funds will support LOGAN’s new Life Enrichment and Employment Pathways, which will provide three pathways to competitive integrated employment, emphasizing community engagement. These pathways are tailored to individual needs and interests, offering diverse opportunities for clients with intellectual developmental disabilities.


South Bend Youth Hockey: $50,000
South Bend Youth Hockey and the Ice Box skating rink provide access to a skating facility for youth of all ages to learn to skate, play and enjoy ice hockey, and figure skating. Funds will be used to support the addition of a third rink, which will help increase equity and access for ice time. While new rink will boost the Ice Box’s already sizable impact on the local economy through hosting out-of-town tournaments and guests, its enduring impact on St. Joseph County will be in unlocking opportunities for underserved local youth to engage in safe and fun activities.


University of Notre Dame: $35,000
The South Bend Entrepreneurship & Adversity Program (SBEAP) through the University of Notre Dame’s McKenna Center offers an 11-month wraparound solution for helping disadvantaged individuals start and grow businesses. Since 2020, SBEAP has trained and equipped 346 entrepreneurs in South Bend, and saw 189 businesses launched. To provide more support and help address unique challenges and problems that arise, funds will help support a drop-in center to facilitate ongoing support for entrepreneurs: The SBEAP Entrepreneurship Empowerment Zone. In addition to tailored support services, the site will offer expanded, ongoing training, mentoring, and consulting.


YWCA North Central Indiana, Inc.: $27,000
Over the past year, more than 760 women and their 400 children called the YWCA North Central Indiana domestic violence shelter in South Bend home. Most of these children witnessed domestic violence or were victims of abuse themselves and are at risk for serious long-term physical and mental health concerns. Funds will support YWCA’s Children’s Counselor position to help clients heal and move forward with their lives with the confidence they need to overcome trauma.

Published: April 23, 2024
P.O. Box 837, South Bend, IN 46624 | 305 S. Michigan St., South Bend, IN 46601 | Phone: (574) 232-0041 | Fax: (574) 233-1906

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