The Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF) today announced $592,878 in funding for 14 Community Responsive Grants. The CRG program focuses on funding projects that are community identified and led. These projects respond to a need for more opportunities that help communities address health needs they have identified. Grantees include The Center for Grieving Children, The Commons at Central Hall, Healthy Acadia, Healthy Northern Kennebec, In Her Presence, Maine Community Integration, The Opportunity Alliance – WIC Program, OUT Maine, Penobscot Bay YMCA, Preble Street, Restorative Justice Institute of Maine, Town of Jackman – Community Health Advisory Team, Tree Street Youth, and Wabanaki Public Health. The diverse projects span all but two of Maine’s counties and cover issues ranging from addressing food security to health access issues faced by people who are incarcerated.
The CRG process included engaging a panel of community-based reviewers who helped to advise MeHAF on selecting the projects to be funded. “The thoughtful approach our community partners took to reviewing applicant proposals and recommending projects for funding strengthened our decision making,” notes Ruta Kadonoff, MeHAF’s Director of Programs. “We learned so much by working with such a talented group.”
Community Responsive Grantmaking, and responsive grantmaking as a whole, is part of MeHAF’s commitment to health equity in Maine. “The opportunity to fund projects that are truly community-led is exciting and eye-opening,” says Barbara Leonard, President & CEO of MeHAF. “By shifting power and agency to those who know, inherently, what their communities need and supporting them to address those needs, we can foster changes we might never have imagined.”