The LGBT Community Fund at The Chicago Community Trust, an endowment-based, fund that strategically supports non-profit organizations that provide essential services to Chicago’s LGBT community, recently completed its second round of community grants to eight local organizations operating throughout the Chicagoland area. The selected organizations were the finalists from a process that started with nearly 30 organizations.
Since its inception in 2010, when civic leaders joined together in a commitment to address a broad range of needs within the LGBT community, the LGBT Community Fund has awarded more than $1.25 million dollars to over 40 organizations.
Denise Foy, Co-Chair for the Fund’s Steering Committee, expressed her enthusiasm for the selected organizations by stating, “The 13 member Steering Committee is deeply honored to be a part of such important work here in the region. Each of the selected organizations is on the front lines creating the needed impact to help members of the LGBT community.” Foy also added, “There is tremendous need within our communities and the Fund seeks to be responsive to those needs. This grant round helps provide vital resources that can be used in real time as well as providing a glimpse of what needs might occur in the future.”
The Fund, using a commissioned 2019 Community Needs Assessment to guide the process, will make grants to the following organizations:
- ACLU/Roger Baldwin Foundation (studying trans-inclusive healthcare by local governments)
- AgeOptions (Pride Cafes for seniors in suburban Cook County)
- Chicago House and Social Service Agency (expand drop-in model on the South Side)
- H.O.M.E. (additional services to its LGBT residents and staff)
- Legal Council for Health Justice (legal services on the South Side with Howard Brown)
- McDermott Center/Haymarket (trauma therapy/care expansion for LGBT clients)
- Sithub (trans-employment initiative)
- Youth Service of Northbrook and Glenbrook (expansion of its youth services program)
Steering Committee Co-Chair Ken O’Keefe added that the Fund continues to learn from prior granting rounds to improve its process of establishing funding priorities and vetting applicants, “This grant cycle was eye-opening for myself and other members of the Steering Committee.” he said. “Heading into this round, we were all aware of the pressing needs within the community, and our site visits really highlighted where we can potentially make a deeper impact.”
O’Keefe continued, “We as a Fund are looking at how we can continue to evolve as the needs of our communities evolve. The landscape looks much different than it did ten years ago when we started, so we are actively looking at enhancing our model, through sustained fund raising, to identify additional resources to be as helpful as we can be in the future. We are incredibly excited about the prospects.”