LBC Offers Micro Grant Funding
By Dianne Anderson
Local advocate Duke Givens doesn’t have much time to dig around for what new grants or funding may be coming up, but he just sticks to the mission at hand.
He does what he can do to help the homeless.
That kind of focus has led to good support and donations for his program, but he said it never hurts to have more funding. As a Black-led organization, he is always looking for ways to give back.
“We’re never going to stop helping people. It’s just the [grant] language trying to connect all the dots. Sometimes it’s a little bit taxing and confusing as to who has the purse-strings to give to people actually doing the work,” said Sylvester “Duke” Givens, founder & CEO of Care Closet LBC, Inc.
He was not aware of $250,000 in recent grants the city is offering for neighborhood associations and micro-grants, but now he has his eyes peeled.
About 67 grants of up to $1,500, are going out to individuals to apply through their neighborhood associations to host block parties, cultural celebrations, neighborhood clean-ups, equity, inclusion and resiliency events, to name a few.
So far, Givens’ project has picked up over one million pounds of trash around town. His program engages the unhoused to help clean up around the areas of the unhoused.
He said the city has come through in a few ways. They donated two trucks from the public works department to help with his program’s regular trash pickups. This week, he expects a third truck donation. Since the top of the year, he said the Mayor’s Fund has given $5,000, and he partners with Savage Tacos to feed 80 to 100 homeless seven days a week.
Applications began Monday, July 17. The city’s eligible proposals and applications will be awarded for about 67 grants on a first come, first served basis until funds are committed. Eligible applications received after funds are committed will be placed on a waitlist. Projects must be completed by Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Meggan Sorensen, the city’s Housing and Neighborhood Services Bureau Manager, said their Development Services Department is now offering these grants for the first time.
Her department’s team reached out to all neighborhood associations, including those within the city’s federally designated Community Development Block Grant areas, along with neighborhoods located within federally designated low income racially and ethnically concentrated areas.
The Long Beach Development Services Department is encouraging applications from Long Beach neighborhood associations for $10,000 grants to support public service programs, and for $1,500 micro-grants to support local events and improvement projects.
On August 2, a virtual workshop was held for applicants, and available on their website www.longbeach.gov/nmgp. City staff will provide grant project and technical assistance to neighborhood associations as they develop their proposed neighborhood projects, events, and their grant applications.
“The City’s Housing and Neighborhood Services team is excited to be offering these new grants and ensuring equitable opportunities for all eligible applicants. Additional outreach was conducted in federally designated Racially/Ethnically Concentrated Areas of Poverty throughout the city. These grants are intended to benefit our diverse residents and neighborhood associations and we look forward to receiving creative and uplifting proposals from potential recipients,” said Sorensen in an email.
With a small team of dedicated outreach, The Nonprofit Partnership services Long Beach and Los Angeles County nonprofits to learn how to get the dollars, and the resources for capacity building. They have an active online community that serves as a clearinghouse for funding information that crosses their path.
The Nonprofit Partnership is in Long Beach, but engages countywide in training and consulting.
Participants access events and workshops year-round, attend leadership workshops and certificate programs, hone their nonprofit skills through certificate programs, and join with other affinity groups.
“We are sending out funding notifications when there is a funding opportunity coming down the pike. We also provide assistance with some, not all, RFP funding through the city, and have been collaborating with the Department of Health and Human Services,” said Carolina Quezada, Senior Program Manager with The Nonprofit Partnership.
Her organization helps the community locate upcoming grants, funding and navigate resources at the state, county, and city levels. Their nonprofit has provided limited technical assistance to Long Beach city departments to help organizations understand the RFP document and applications.
In the past, they collaborated with the city on question and answer sessions about RFPs and capacity building.
“We make sure they have a direct connection to that resource. We work with a lot of consultants and we know there are people out there very familiar with these applications who know how to streamline support and we have access to those folks,” she said.
For the guidelines for potential events, view the workshop and apply for the grants,
For other grant opportunities, see https://longbeachcf.org/grants/
For more information on TNP, see https://tnpsocal.org/