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Akron Community Foundation awards $300,000 in capital grants


Funded projects range from security upgrades to capacity-building construction

Measuring tools such as a pencil and level

Akron Community Foundation's board of directors recently approved $300,000 in capital grants, selected by the foundation's Community Investment Committee. Every other year, the foundation offers these grants to nonprofits that need funding to renovate or repair buildings or property, or to purchase equipment essential to the organization's ability to deliver quality programming.

Among those organizations receiving a grant was Harmony House, which offers transitional housing to young people ages 18 to 26. Harmony House received a $7,500 grant to help with construction of an emergency youth shelter.

"Housing, to me, is one of the very most important things and probably the most important indicator of health, of social well-being," said Karla McDay, executive director of Harmony House, who adds that traditional homeless solutions often don't work for young people, whose homelessness is typically circumstantial. "What we see is an ongoing need in our community for young people to have emergency housing solutions," she added. "This funding is going to help us fulfill the mission."

A total of 41 organizations received capital funding, including Truly Reaching You Ministries, which was awarded a capital grant to support warehouse renovations for an employment training/workforce education hub, and the Nightlight Cinema, which received funding to help install a second movie screen, which will significantly increase capacity for this independent theater in downtown Akron.

Grants will support the following capital projects:

Akron Blind Center, for safety and wellness improvements to the building and property, including driveway leveling, roof repair and the installation of audible emergency evacuation equipment, $5,000

Akron Children's Museum, to support phase two of the Capital Expansion Campaign, $10,000

Akron Marathon, for safety, security, and technology updates, $5,000

Akron Parks Collaborative, to support the creation and installation of the Firestone Park splash pad, $5,000

Akron Urban League, to support the creation of learning and meeting spaces, $5,000

Asian Services In Action (ASIA), to support culturally and linguistically appropriate dental health services among Akron's immigrant and refugee population, $7,500

AxessPointe Community Health Centers, to support the creation of a new health center in West Akron, $7,500

Battered Women's Shelter, for enhanced safety and security of its building, $5,000

The Blick Center, for an accessible redesign of the building's entryway, $5,000

Broken Chains Jail & Prison Ministry, to support a three-year capital equipment improvements program, $10,000

Center for Applied Theatre and Active Culture (CATAC), for investment in equipment upgrades that improve community outreach, experience and accessibility, $5,000

CORE Furniture Bank, to support the purchase of a medium duty box truck, $5,000

Crown Point Ecology Center, for the purchase of a tractor, essential for growing field food crops and maintaining a prairie habitat, $5,000

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, to support improved ADA accessibility for passengers with mobility limitations, $5,000

Family Promise of Summit County, to renovate one of Survive to Thrive's first homes, $7,500

Freedom House for Women, for New Journey Recovery Housing basement waterproofing, $7,500

Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, for the construction of state-of-the-art STEM Center of Excellence at Camp Ledgewood, which will provide hands-on learning for students during day and overnight programs, $7,500

Grace House Akron, to support the completion of construction on Grace House, $10,000

Habitat for Humanity of Summit County, for a garage addition that will ensure ample space for vehicles and equipment, $7,500

Harmony House, for construction of an emergency youth shelter, $7,500

Keep Akron Beautiful, to replace a dump truck that will support the removal of litter in Akron, $5,000

Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance, to create an office and small business resource space for Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance at 1028 Kenmore Boulevard, $10,000

Let's Grow Akron, Inc., for a walk-in cooler and outdoor kitchen area that will allow the storage of produce before transporting to local food pantries, farmer's markets and community meals, $7,500

The Nightlight Cinema, to support the expansion of the cinema in downtown Akron, $10,000

none too fragile, to improve the safety and handicap accessibility of the theatre, $7,500

North Hill Community Development Corporation, to support upgrades to People's Park, including concrete repairs, lighting upgrades and deck renovations, $5,000

Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, to support the Akron Civic Commons 2.0 Summit Lake Park Project, which will provide accessible, equitable and welcoming parks, trails and open spaces along the towpath, $7,500

OPEN M, to support critical safety enhancements at the organization's office and warehouse facility, $10,000

The Peninsula Foundation, to support an ADA accessible addition to G.A.R. Hall, including a pre-event space and two accessible restrooms, $10,000

Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, to purchase more inclusive, extended weight exam tables and chairs, and other essential medical equipment at the Akron health center, $10,000

Regina Health Center, to support the creation of a safe outdoor gathering space for senior residents to enjoy family visits, spiritual and educational programming and enrichment programs, $7,500

The Salvation Army of Summit County, to replace buses for the Learning Zone preschool, enabling the organization to provide safe transportation of students, $10,000

Shelter Care, Inc., for creation of a multipurpose room that will be used for family and group counseling sessions, psycho-educational group activities, team meetings and trainings, $10,000

South Street Ministries, for the renovation of Restoration House, which will offer emergency and transitional reentry housing for women, $10,000

SWAG, for the purchase of a replacement van, which provides transportation to students during the academic year and summer programming, $5,000

Truly Reaching You, for phase 2 and 3 renovations to South Street warehouse, an employment training/workforce education hub, $15,000

Twinsburg Historical Society, to maintain the integrity of the museum and adjacent parking lot, $2,500

Urban Vision, to support installation of new and updated HVAC systems throughout the facility, $7,500

Victim Assistance Program, to upgrade outdated technology for victim advocates, $7,500

The Well CDC, for walk-in cold storage at the Akron Food Works kitchen that will serve current members, attract new members and provide additional options for product distribution, $5,000

YEPAW, to restore drumline, photography and computer equipment, $5,000

About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 67 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. It is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $260 million with a growing family of more than 800 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation's funds have awarded nearly $209 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit

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