The Centennial Fund met recently to discuss how to respond to our partners hardest hit by the shut-downs due to COVID 19. In particular, the children and youth at 21st Century Academy run by Liberty Church and the homeless youth served at The Bridge for Youth.

Liberty Community Church is experiencing a profound need for food and support for their youth, families, and 21st Century Academy staff. Given that many of the families they support have lost their jobs or had hours cut, they have opted to supply grocery cards and other services to keep these families afloat. The Centennial Fund approved a $10,000 grant to help them meet these needs.

Our Youth-Led Centennial Fund team made a grant to The Bridge for Youth last year to help them establish a homeless shelter for pregnant teens and teens with young children. We were in the midst of working on ways to deepen our relationship with this organization when the pandemic struck. We reached out to them to ask if they had increased needs.Because of social distancing, The Bridge for Youth can not house as many individuals as the building can hold, and because their funding is tied to the number of people they serve, their funding has dropped by half. As an added burden, they can not receive funding until a youth leaves their program. Given concerns about their well-being, they have opted to not release their youth for their safety and protection until the shelter-in-place orders are lifted. The Centennial Fund approved a grant for $5,000.

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The Centennial Fund’s vision is to organize, engage and give in new ways that foster connection, community and commitment to one another and to our Twin Cities neighbors. A core value of the Fund is to fuse grantmaking with efforts to develop or enhance relationships with organizations in the community.