Maui News

Maui’s Family Life Center Receives $1.25 Million Bezos Grant to End Homelessness

December 10, 2020, 1:47 PM HST
* Updated December 10, 1:53 PM
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Family Life Center, Kahului. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Family Life Center, a nonprofit organization serving the homeless in Maui and Kauaʻi Counties, was selected to receive a $1.25 million grant from the Day 1 Families Fund created by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

The fund gives annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families.

Family Life Center is one of 42 organizations across the United States to receive this year’s grants totaling $105.9 million.

“We are truly thankful for the generosity of the Day 1 Families Fund for supporting the effort to end family homelessness,” said Maude Cumming, Executive Director of Family Life Center that serves about 1,200 homeless or at-risk individuals annually.

“Family Life Center will steward and leverage this gift to create a sustained, collective impact for families experiencing homelessness.”

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This one-time grant, awarded to organizations doing meaningful work to connect families with shelter and support, will allow Family Life Center to invest in programs and infrastructure that will address immediate needs and prevent families from entering the homeless shelter system.

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The organization also will expand outreach services, especially to rural communities, increase efforts to create a larger inventory of available housing rentals and develop partnerships to connect families to critical services.

“Family Life Center is truly about FAMILY,” said Amanda, a single mother of five who turned to Family Life Center when she was being evicted from her home. “From the second I called, I could already tell they’re all for helping the community.”

The Family Fund worked with an advisory board of homelessness advocates and leaders whose expertise spans housing justice, racial equity, direct services, homelessness policy, equity for Native American communities and anti-poverty work to select the award recipients.

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This year’s recipients include: Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness; The Cathedral Center, Inc.; Catholic Charities of Acadiana; Coalition for Homelessness Intervention & Prevention; Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida; Community Action Council for Lexington-Fayette, Bourbon, Harrison and Nicholas Counties, Inc.; Congreso de Latinos Unidos; Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio; Denver Indian Family Resource Center; East Los Angeles Women’s Center; East Oakland Community Project; Facing Forward to End Homelessness; Families Together; Family Life Center; Friendship Place; HELP of Southern Nevada; The Homeless Families Foundation; Homeless Outreach Program Integrated Care System; HOPE Atlanta; House of Ruth; Housing Matters; Housing Up; Kahumana; MAHUBE-OTWA Community Action Partnership, Inc.; Metro Denver Homeless Initiative; MUST Ministries; The National Center for Children and Families; Native American Youth and Family Center; North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness; One80 Place; Poverello House; Rainbow Services; Refugee Women’s Alliance; Safe Haven Family Shelter; Samaritan House; Solid Ground; St. Vincent de Paul CARES; Su Casa – Ending Domestic Violence; The Salvation Army Austin Area Command; Time for Change Foundation; United American Indian Involvement, Inc.; and WestCare California.

The Bezos Day 1 Fund was launched in 2018 with a commitment of $2 billion and a focus on two areas: funding existing nonprofits that help homeless families, and creating a network of new, nonprofit tier-one preschools in low-income communities. The Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families. The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary’s Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside. For more information, visit www.BezosDayOneFund.org/Day1FamiliesFund.

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