Santa Monica Lookout
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Nonprofit Santa Monica Groups Getting Millions In City Grants

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

By Hector Gonzalez
Staff Writer

May 22, 2015 --  Santa Monica will dole out millions of dollars in federal funding human services programs if City Council members approve a slew of grant proposals from local agencies.

This year 24 agencies submitted 50 funding requests to the City's Human Services Grant Program (HSGP). The funding comes mostly in the form of federal dollars from the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

In all, the local agencies requested more than $10 million to keep existing programs going and to launch new ones. But a staff report is recommending funding only 22 agencies and capping this year's funding level at about $8.1 million, a 10 percent increase from last year.

Some of that increase will be made up from various sources, including a bump this year in federal CDBG funding and others sources, with the rest included as a budget item request in the 2015-17 General Fund, Human Services Manager Setareh Yavari said in her report to the City Council.

For the first time, staff incorporated data from the City's recently released Well-Being Survey in determining funding priorities for the HSGP. Agencies being recommended for funding by staff include several nonprofits that provide services to young people and seniors, two age groups that ranked lower on the well-being survey.

But the program also continues the City's commitment to its Action Plan to End Homelessness, fully funding homeless services agency OPCC's $862,863 grant proposal. Another homeless services provider, Chrysalis, would receive $286,857 in grant money to help 500 low-income and homeless people with job training.

Clare Foundation would receive two grants totaling more than $150,000 to provide drug and alcohol counseling, health services and other programs for homeless youth and adults. And an agency that helps homeless veterans, New Directions For Veterans, would receive $44,605 in grant money. 

Among the 22 agencies staff has recommended for grants, eight would receive boosts over the last round of awards -- Connections for Children, Family Services of Santa Monica/Vista del Mar, Meals on Wheels West, OPCC, St. Joseph's Center, Westside Center for Independent Living, Venice Family Clinic, and WISE & Healthy Aging.

Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club, a newcomer to the program, would receive $135,000 to help support its after-school programs. The agency had requested more than twice that amount, however.

Other grants slated for approval include $45,446 to Connections for Children to provide a “kindergarten readiness” program for 650 Santa Monica public schoolchildren, $171,201 to The Growing Place Marine Park to subsidize daycare for 58 children from moderate- and low-income families, and $479,219 to the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles to provide free legal services to up to 900 residents.

Family Services of Santa Monica/Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services would receive three separate grants totaling more than $400,000 to provide mental health services for hundreds of local schoolchildren, the staff report said.

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