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Community foundation awards $262K in grants

• Mar 13, 2019 at 2:00 PM

The Board of the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation (GHACF), together with the foundation’s Youth Advisory Council, recently announced five first-round grant awards, totaling $262,500, in support of Northwest Ottawa County.

The awards include a $12,500 grant to the City of Grand Haven for an updated Zoning Ordinance that would allow residential housing and mixed-use structures to be more easily developed within the community. The city currently has a partnership with Housing Next, which has a mission to “create and implement a cross sector, long-term and regional strategy that influences leverage points in the system to ensure affordable, accessible and safe housing.

A complete review and update of the city’s Zoning Ordinance will support the goals outlined in the city’s Master Plan and other strategic reports, while reflecting the community’s current priorities, Grand Haven officials say.

“The outcomes of this project have the potential to impact greater Northwest Ottawa County,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said. “Once the updated ordinance is drafted, educational sessions for developers, Realtors and the general public will be held to allow for further conversation.”

The grant will allow the city to hire a consulting firm to assist with creating an updated Zoning Ordinance that supports the goals of the 2016 Resilient Grand Haven Master Plan, the 2018 Affordable Housing Task Force Final Report and the 2018 Redevelopment Ready Communities Certification. The results from this update will be shared with neighboring communities.

Other grants awarded:

Center for Women in Transition: $150,000 over three years for domestic and sexual violence community prevention training expansion. This grant will allow CWIT to hire a full-time prevention specialist who will build the community's capacity to recognize and respond to domestic and sexual violence. The prevention specialist will be available to engage, train and consult with local employers and faith organizations throughout Ottawa County.

Bethany Christian Services: $25,000 (including $10,000 from YAC) for Healthy Life Skills for Students and Families programming with Grand Haven Area Public Schools. This program promotes positive mental health, resiliency measures and strong relationships for children, teens and guardians.

Bluebird Cancer Retreats: $25,000 to hire an additional staff member, which will allow for the creation and development of programming for families and children, further reaching all those impacted by the consequences of a cancer diagnosis. Bluebird Cancer Retreats is the only retreat opportunity for those with cancer in the West Michigan region, and one of only 32 retreat centers serving adults with cancer in the nation.

TCM Counseling: $50,000 for Strong to Stronger: An Infrastructure Project, which aims to research and implement strategic marketing campaigns, as well as a more secure, efficient and cost-effective IT system. TCM Counseling is the only mental health service in the Tri-Cities that provides services to individuals regardless of the ability to pay or access to insurance.

The Grand Haven Area Community Foundation is a public, charitable organization serving the Northwest Ottawa County community since 1971. It is regularly recognized as a top 100 community foundation in the nation and is the eighth-largest community foundation in Michigan.

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