Funding Opportunity: $60,000 Emergency Grant Awarded Bethany House
Thanks to a $45,000 co-investment by our generous donors, Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) recently was able to fund a $60,000 emergency grant to Bethany House Services, Inc. GCF defines a funding emergency as “an immediate need for funding to avoid total stop of services of basic needs to vulnerable people.” The grant will be used to pay rent, utilities and basic expenses for a fifth shelter Bethany House added this summer in response to a dramatic increase in the number of homeless families — specifically, women and children — they are being asked to serve.
While the funding can be counted as a success story, there are more chapters to be written. For Bethany House, which shelters more than half of all families receiving temporary lodging in Cincinnati, the urgency for meeting the need is ongoing, and growing. When their shelters are filled, “overflow” families are temporarily housed in hotels, which is more expensive. This year they have sheltered 973 people so far and project that to reach about 1,112 by year’s end, which exceeds the 1,030 people they served in 2017.
Among the factors contributing to Bethany House Services’ operating and “overflow” challenges:
- Strategies to End Homelessness, which coordinates a centralized emergency shelter hotline in Cincinnati, reports that Hamilton County has experienced a 3 percent increase in the number of homeless individuals over the past five years.
- Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority has recently increased its eviction activity, according to Bethany House — including 90 evictions in a single day.
- State funding from Ohio for this year was frozen at last year’s level.
- As cited in the just-released All-In Cincinnati report, housing insecurity burdens 63 percent of black women who rent, with more than six in 10 paying more than 30 percent of their income toward housing.
- Cincinnati faces a deficit of 40,000 affordable housing units.
GCF recognizes that while fulfilling emergency needs is crucial, it’s also important to provide strategic leadership to address root causes that create those needs. As we move forward, we know that advocating for equitable policies — and initiatives such as the Family Independence Initiative — we will, with your support, move the bar toward a brighter future for a region that everyone will be proud to call home.
Amplify Giving for Greater Impact
To support this transformative work, please contact your GCF philanthropic advisor, who will reach out to you with specific funding opportunities when they are determined.