Monday, August 29, 2011

Grant Program To Hep Provide Financial Assistance For Caring For A Family Member

If you are looking for financial assistance to help with the care of a family member then here is a grant program that you might be interested in learning more about.

This grant program is for Hospice Patients & Families.

There is an organization that has a fund that helps provides financial assistance for terminally ill individuals and their families who are experiencing financial distress and unable to be self-sufficient due to the circumstances of their terminal diagnosis.

This organization will consider grant requests for patient and family assistance from any person that has a terminal diagnosis regardless of care-provider. In order to adhere to IRS guidelines for charitable giving, the organization must collect financial information from the patient and/or the family member applying for grant assistance. This information is then used to determine the level of financial need of the applicant.

Grants are made when the individual is considered “needy and distressed” as defined by the IRS.

For more information a detailed explanation of the grant guidelines can be downloaded online for free from the organization's website.

There Is Still Some UnSpent Katrina Money Out There!

It's a sad thing to have to report this but this is information that I feel people should know about since it is something that involves taxpayer money - meaning the money that you and I pay in taxes!

Did you know that more than a quarter of the $20 billion in Housing and Urban Development relief funds that were earmarked for Gulf Coast states after Hurricane Katrina remains unspent five years after the storm!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Katrina Grants Going To The Wealthy But Not To The Poor!

According to some advocates, the effort to help Huricane Katrina victims with government grants seems to have benefited more affluent people than those who are low-incomed.

According to one organization, "The recovery is really the tale of two recoveries. For people who were well off before the storm, they are more likely to be back in their homes, back in their jobs and to have access to good health care. For those who were poor or struggling to get by before the storm, the opposite is true."

Louisiana's program to distribute grants to property owners whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Katrina was found by a federal judge this month to discriminate against black homeowners!

Meanwhile, in Mississippi, state officials refused to offer rebuilding grants to property owners who suffered wind damage, explaining that the property owners should have carried private insurance. That rule hit low-income and black homeowners particularly hard, advocates say, because many of them were uninsured, often because they owned property that was passed down through the generations.

The $143 billion federally funded effort, one of the largest reconstruction projects in the country's history, fortified vulnerable levees, rebuilt hundreds of public buildings, reconstructed miles of roads and bridges and provided tens of thousands of residents with money to help piece together their shattered lives.

But there is a sharp disparity in how residents view the pace of recovery. A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that while seven in 10 New Orleans residents say the rebuilding process is "going in the right direction," a third say their lives are still disrupted by the storm.

African Americans are more than twice as likely as whites to say they have not yet recovered after Katrina, the survey found. And blacks in the city are 2 & 1/2 times more likely to be low-income than whites.

One disabled Vietnam veteran has said, "I just knew we had a rotten deal". He and his wife have been struggling to rebuild their duplex in New Orleans East. The storm propelled them on a years-long odyssey through Port Arthur, Tex., Houston and Arkansas. They did not return to their still-damaged home until 2008! Their home was valued at just $135,000, although repair costs were estimated by the state to be $308,000. They were awarded a grant of just $16,649 to supplement just over $100,000 they received in insurance payments.

The federally funded grant program offered homeowners grants of up to $150,000. But homeowners could not collect more than the pre-storm value of their homes, regardless of the cost of repairs.

A federal judge ruled that the program's formula for calculating grants discriminates against black homeowners, who tend to live in neighborhoods with lower home values.

A spokesperson for the grant program has said that they have already appealed the judge's decision and added that the grant program has modified the program to pay out an additional $2 billion to more than 45,000 low-income homeowners. So far the government grant program has paid $8.6 billion to more than 127,000 homeowners.

While the waterfront casinos are providing a large chunk of state revenue, the vast majority of residents are back in their rebuilt homes, although thousands are still struggling to find affordable housing as their recovery checks did not cover the cost of the damage.

Despite the improvements, many gaps remain.

In Mississippi, where Katrina severely damaged more than 101,000 housing units, many residents face what advocates call a similar inequity. Praised in the aftermath of Katrina for his can-do attitude, Gov. Haley Barbour received a series of waivers from the Bush administration that largely freed Mississippi from the requirement to spend at least half of his state's $5.5 billion in federal block grant money on low- and moderate-income residents. Barbour successfully argued that the waivers were necessary to give the state flexibility to deal effectively with the widespread devastation. That allowed the state to divert close to $1 billion to help devastated utilities rebuild, to subsidize residents' insurance premiums and the port and other economic development projects. Meanwhile, advocates say that more than 5,000 low-income Mississippi families have yet to settle in permanent housing since the storm. Advocates have said that more than $3 billion distributed by the state's housing recovery program went disproportionately to more affluent residents. The plan paid up to $150,000 to homeowners whose properties were damaged by the unprecedented storm surge spawned by Katrina, but nothing to those whose homes suffered wind damage.

To be eligible for the initial grants, families had to have homeowners insurance, although the state later devised a program that paid grants of up to $100,000 to low-income, uninsured homeowners whose properties were damaged by the storm surge.
The rationale, state officials said, was that responsible homeowners had no way to know that they should have flood insurance in areas that federal experts deemed to be outside of the flood plain.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Some Facts About Getting Government Grants For "Going Green"

The passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has made considerable amounts of funding available to businesses and individuals working on green and renewable energy projects.

But just how much of the $787 billion recovery package is dedicated to grants? And where can green entrepreneurs and small business owners find and apply for these federal stimulus funds?

Here are some key details on locating grant money for green projects and applying for funding.

According to one official website, $275 billion of total federal stimulus funding is designated for contracts, grants and loans.

To date, the government has awarded around $137 billion to businesses, organizations, education institutions and entrepreneurs focused on developing green collar jobs or conducting clean energy technology research.

One of the most valuable resources for finding and applying to federal stimulus grants is through the government grants website. This online directory features information on the government’s “26 grant-making agencies,” including those increasingly associated with the country’s green workforce, including: the Environmental Protection Agency (awards millions in environmental education and environmental justice grants); the Department of Labor (recently sponsored a nationwide four-grant competition for renewable energy projects); the Department of Agriculture (funded 69 initiatives to clean and improve the country’s water supply and ecosystems); the Department of Energy (provides renewable energy incentives across the country through its Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy).

Monday, August 15, 2011

Does Your Non-Profit Organization Need A Computer?

There is a donation program that recognizes the fact that there are many people and organizations that lack the technology which would enable them to effectively communicate and accomplish their tasks efficiently. So 2 organizations have partnered together to help.

Now local nonprofit organizations are able to apply for a computer grant to benefit the staff and clients of their organization.

The goal of this program is to support social and human service organizations in their quest to provide for their clients.

Here are some examples of the non-profit organizations that may be eligible to apply:

  • Community and family services

  • Adult services (e.g., literacy programs, job training)

  • Senior citizen programs

  • Support for the disabled/disadvantaged

  • Youth education/development
* Please be advised that the above list doesn't list the complete eligibilty of non-profit organizations that may be eligible. This donation program is open to any program that will benefit the community; however, preferences will be given to those organizations that utilize the computer equipment in a frontline, visible capacity. To submit a grant request, please download the Application Form Applications must be received by the Brown County United Way no later than Friday, September 2, 2011. If you have any questions you can contact this organization by regular snail mail, phone or by email.