Marin Community Foundation’s $75,000 Grant Keeps Marin Residents in Homes and Helps Children Participate in Summer Education Programs



June Miyaki
Marin Housing Authority

San Rafael, CA, June 8, 2009: Marin County’s low-income families, struggling more than most to stay financially afloat from day to day and help their kids with summer educational needs, were given a deeply appreciated rescue gift. Drawing on a generous grant of $75,000 from the Marin Community Foundation to the Marin Housing Authority, 133 families received from $100 to $2,000 in homeless prevention and/or child education needs.

Several of the recipients have been invited to attend the June 16th Board of Commissioners meeting held at the Board of Supervisors chambers. The awards were mailed out to the recipients last week.

The grants give immediate relief to families facing the loss of their home due to high bills that were unexpected: medical, dental, car, loss of a job, income reduction, funeral and other situations. For the children and youth, the grants provide much-needed money for tutoring, summer training/camps, tuition and other learning pursuits.

All the recipients of these funds came from subsidized low-income housing programs managed by Marin Housing Authority. Most of the grant recipients came from the Marin City public housing complex. The great majority (87%) of these recipients had minor children.

Marin Housing Authority opened the grants to qualified applicants several months ago, receiving a large number of written snapshots on hard times. Helen Nordstrum (not her real name) was on the edge of becoming homeless, along with her 7-year old son. Her car broke down, forcing her to spend immediately $2,901. Ms. Nordstrum’s job pay had been lowered from her 2008 rates and she is attending school at the same time. The money for rent was dwindling and she was facing what would happen if she couldn’t pay the rent. She also wanted to send her son to a science camp being held in Marin.

Jean Wilson (not her real name) has two daughters (ages 7 and 4) and is disabled. She depends on her 1986 Honda Civic (which is barely running) to get to work. When the car isn’t reliable, she can’t walk to the bus stop, thus jeapordizing her job and ability to pay rent on time. For her two daughters, Ms. Wilson was hoping for grant money to send them to a camp with classes this summer. She notes her children are shy and the socialization at this age through summer camp activities would enormously benefit them.

For additional information, compelling stories and coverage on the $75,000 grant and its distribution, please contact June Miyake.

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