$135K in Sophia Travis community service grants OK’d by Monroe County

Community service grants to 38 organizations totaling $135,400 were approved by Monroe County commissioners at their Wednesday morning meeting.

A complete table of all 38 awardees is included at the end of this article.

The community service grants are named after a former county councilor, the late Sophia Travis.

At Wednesday’s meeting, president of the board of commissioners, Julie Thomas, called it an “aptly named program.”

She said that Travis “really served this community so well.” Thomas added: “Her life was too short.”

This year’s awards had already received approval from the county council at a July work session.

By dollar amount, the top 10 grants this year were awarded to: Beacon Inc. ($7,060); Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard ($5,580); Indiana Recovery Alliance ($5,420); New Hope for Families ($5,280); Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington ($5,180); Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central Indiana ($5,080); Community Kitchen of Monroe County, Inc. ($4,880); Area 10 Agency on Aging ($4,630); Sojourn House Inc. ($4,280); Monroe County Humane Association ($4,120).

Sophia Travis grants are drawn from the county’s general fund. Since 2008, when $95,000 in grants were awarded, the total has tended to increase a few thousand dollars every year. Last year’s total amount was $130,000.

At Wednesday’s meeting of the commissioners, councilor Cheryl Munson presented the proposed awards on behalf of the county council and the committee that worked on the recommendations. In addition to Munson, the committee included councilors Trent Deckard and Kate Wiltz, as well as two members of the public, Ryan Boyce and Josh Johnson.

Munson told the commissioners that a total of $260,000 had been requested this year for various projects. That’s twice as much as the available amount. Year after year, the requests exceed the available funds by a lot, Munson said.

Munson said the committee is recommending that next year the amount for the awards be increased by more than the percentage increase in property tax revenues, which has been used in the past.

In 2013, the grant program was renamed in honor of Sophia Travis, who served on the county council from 2004 to 2008. She worked as a councilor to “assure the applications for the limited funds available for support would be considered in a fair, even-handed and transparent process,” according to the renaming resolution.

Table: 2021 Sophia Travis Awards by Amount

Agency Use of Award Amount
Beacon Inc. COVID-19 Homeless Prevention Project $7,060
Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard Emergency Food Pantry Support $5,580
Indiana Recovery Alliance Sharps Disposal Box Community Safety Program $5,420
New Hope for Families Housing First For Families $5,280
Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington Flood Damage Recovery at the Lincoln Street Club $5,180
Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central Indiana DEI – Recruitment & Mentoring One-To-One $5,080
Community Kitchen of Monroe County, Inc. Food Purchase $4,880
Area 10 Agency on Aging Endwright East Active Living Community Center $4,630
Sojourn House Inc. Residential and Outreach Program Renovation $4,280
Monroe County Humane Association Outreach Transportation Vehicle Grant $4,120
South Central Community Action Program JT Memorial Health Fund $4,080
Hoosier Hills Food Bank COVID Food Project 2021 $3,990
Indiana Solar for All (Center for Sustainable Living Inc.) Solar for Monroe County $3,990
Wheeler Mission Ministries, Inc. Intervention Services – Shelter Diversion $3,980
Middle Way House Re-Keying New Wings Emergency Shelter $3,620
Bloomington Meals on Wheels, Inc. Groceries to Go $3,580
Planned Parenthood Patient Financial Assistance for Preventative Health Care Services $3,580
Monroe County United Ministries Maintaining Self-Sufficiency $3,500
All-Options Hoosier Diaper Program $3,410
Centerstone of Indiana Welcome Home to Centerstone $3,380
Susie’s Place (Hendricks County Child Advocacy Center Inc. Susie’s Place Furniture $3,220
Amethyst House Residential Food $3,050
Bloomington St. Vincent de Paul 200 Plastic Dressers for Children $3,040
Hotels for Hope Inc. Office Space $2,830
Lotus Education & Arts Foundation Lanterns Remixed $2,830
Youth First, Inc. Monroe County Youth First Social Work Program $2,820
New Leaf New Life, Inc. Transition Support Materials $2,630
Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry $2,620
Courage to Change Sober Living Fresh Start Rent Scholarship Fund $2,580
Team First Book-Monroe County Increasing Diversity and Inclusion through Books $2,580
WFHB (Bloomington Community Radio Inc.) WFHB Event Broadcasting $2,520
Community Justice & Mediation Center Program and Outreach Materials, Supplies, & Training Scholarships $2,440
MidWay Music Speaks Girls Rock Bloomington Camp & Workshop Series $2,420
The Bloomington Project School Project: Place $2,420
Catholic Charities of Bloomington Counseling Services Trauma Training and Expansion Project $2,370
Alexandra’s Food Drive Inc. 2022 Food Drive $2,250
Grace Center, Inc. Food Purchase $2,240
Writing for a Change Foundation, Inc. Young Women’s Summer Writing Camps 2022 $1,920