Boston Foundation makes emergency winter grants, urges community support

$80,000 in new grants coupled with outreach to donors, community as dangerous cold continues

January 5, 2018

With Greater Boston digging out from the first blizzard of 2018 and entering another dangerous cold snap, the Boston Foundation today announced $80,000 in emergency grants for housing and homelessness organizations. In addition, the Foundation is reaching out to donors to strengthen the Food and Fuel Fund, which makes grants to organizations serving the housing, food, and energy insecure.

“The recent spate of cold weather has put additional pressure on families and individuals, as well as organizations that strive to help thousands of Massachusetts residents stay warm, safe and well-fed each winter,” said Orlando Watkins, Vice President for Program at the Boston Foundation. “These grants alone won’t meet the need, but we hope they provide immediate funds and inspire our community as a whole to step up its support.

The Boston Foundation grants will provide general operating support to four organizations:

  • $40,000 to the Pine Street Inn, New England's leading and largest resource for homeless and formerly homeless adults.
  • $15,000 to St. Francis House, which provides a continuum of direct services to alleviate or prevent homelessness and eliminate barriers to moving beyond homelessness.
  • $15,000 to the Women’s Lunch Place, which provides a safe, welcoming daytime shelter for women experiencing poverty or homelessness, offering healthy meals along with individualized and community services.
  • $10,000 to Bridge Over Troubled Water, which provides a variety of social services and guidance to runaway, homeless, and high-risk youth, help youth avoid a lifetime of dependency on social services.

The grants add to $55,000 in grants from the Food and Fuel Fund announced last month to organizations providing resources and support to Greater Boston residents facing hunger, housing, or heating challenges.

In a letter to donors sent Wednesday, Kate Guedj, the Boston Foundation’s Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer, encouraged donors to give to the Food and Fuel Fund or add to their support of local nonprofits. Guedj noted that one in ten households lack access to affordable, nutritious food and, on any given night, more than 19,000 people in Massachusetts are homeless, and that 10 days of exceptionally cold weather before this week’s storm had already increased the need for shelter and risks facing the housing and food insecure in the region.

Since 2008, the Food and Fuel Fund at the Boston Foundation has made more than $3 million in grants to nonprofits working to meet basic needs in food, fuel, and housing over the winter months.