On Wednesday night, Bloomington’s city council approved the allocation of $323,000 in social services grants to 32 different agency programs.
Those were the recommended allocations made by the seven-member Jack Hopkins committee after reviewing about $965,000 in grant requests from about 45 different agency programs.
Last year the total amount requested was $557,000.
The top five awards this year were to Hoosier Hills Food Bank ($27,341), New Hope Family Shelter ($21,711), Community Justice and Mediation Center ($21,283), Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard ($17,555), and Monroe County CASA, Inc. ($17,517). Included below is a table with all the awards, with a description of the projects to be funded.
From the public mic came criticism of awards to Planned Parenthood and All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center, based on their provision abortion services or referral to such services. The grant awards to those agencies this year, as in past years, involve projects that are not abortion services.
Recommendations on how to distribute $323,000 in funding for this year’s round of Jack Hopkins social services program have now been made by a seven-member committee appointed by Bloomington’s city council.
Pending final approval by the city council at a meeting set for June 14, the money will go to 32 nonprofits.
The biggest recommended award was $27,341 to Hoosier Hills Food Bank, to buy food. That was just 78 percent of the $35,000 that was requested in the food bank’s application.
Only five of the applications were recommended by the committee to receive the full amount in their application: Community Justice and Mediation Center ($21,283) for an eviction prevention project; New Leaf, New Life ($13,600) for an emergency and transitional housing project; Planned Parenthood ($7,500) to purchase contraceptives; All-Options ($6,900) for a diapers and potty training support program; and Community Kitchen of Monroe County ($4,079) to replace a dish sprayer and liners for cargo van beds.
On Thursday night, representatives from 35 different social services agencies in Bloomington gave presentations to a committee that is made up of councilmembers and other residents, to support their applications for project funding.
The 35 agencies had applied for this year’s round of Jack Hopkins social services grants.
The total amount requested by those 35 agencies is $680,530. The amount that’s appropriated in Bloomington’s 2023 budget for Jack Hopkins grants is just $323,000.
But this year’s grant cycle started off with an even bigger challenge—48 agencies had applied for a total of about $965,000. Before Thursday’s meeting, the committee had already winnowed down the 48 applications to 35.
The total requested this year is the biggest amount since the Jack Hopkins grant program was started, in 1993.
The press release puts it this way: “The spark has grown into a beacon of hope and hospitality in Bloomington, and so the name ‘Beacon’ was chosen to represent this organization and its many programs.
The press release quotes executive director Gilmore: “Our capacity to care has grown so significantly that we needed a new way to express that.” The press release adds, “All our efforts work together to be the light that guides you home.”