Three northeast Georgia agencies have received $115,000 in total grant money from the North Georgia Community Foundation.
Foundation President and CEO Michelle Prater said the Opportunity Grants are new grants this year.
"Mental health and poverty and things like that are very, very challenging and things that we're seeing throughout north Georgia," said Prater. "So we wanted to create a grant process that would really create new programs or initiatives that would really deal directly with those problems."
Gainesville Police received $55,000 for the hiring of a on-staff clinician. The clinician will help officers responding to mental health calls and allow for a more specialized response in a mental health crisis.
"So when they're out there and dealing with those situations, they're going to have a professional who can be with them, who can reall help make a difference and hopefully a safer environment for everyone and resolve that," said Prater.
"This has happened in many other communities, but this will be a first for Gainesville and so we're just thrilled we could be a part of creating this new initiative," Prater said.
Sisu (formerly Challenged Child and Friends) received $50,000 to assist the expansion of their autism therapy program. The money will allow them to hire two Registered Behavioral Technicians certified to assist with the therapy programs created by Sisu's on-staff board certified Behavioral Analyst.
Family Promise, a non-profit that helps homeless families getting back on their feet, received $10,000 to fulfill a matching grant opportunity by the Homeless No More Challenge Grant. The total of $20,000 from both grants will help the nonprofit launch two new programs, Help Us Move In and the Prevention Eviction Partnership. This grant will also be matched by the NGCF in 2020.
And, NGCF awarded $153,000 to 27 nonprofits several months ago for various needs.
"We were thrilled to have the opportunity to provide grants totaling $268,000 this year to programs that support our community," said Prater. "This was made possible by the generosity of two individuals who trusted their philanthropic legacy to NGCF. This new Opportunity Grant Program honors these individuals and creates new and much-needed solutions to key community issues impacting the lives of those living in North Georgia."