Center for Women and Families receives $2.5 million from Jeff Bezos’ nonprofit fund
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Center for Women and Families announced it has received a $2.5 million grant, the largest in the organization’s history, from a fund launched by billionaire Jeff Bezos.
The grant comes from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund, which issues annual leadership awards to organizations that are helping families with services to achieve stability and provide shelter, according to a release.
The center said the funds will help support families in need who may be dealing with domestic violence issues to find emergency shelter and provide additional programming for children and families experiencing violence.
“With intimate partner violence on the rise in our area, including local deaths doubling over 2021, this gift from the Day 1 Families Fund could not have come at a more critical time,” Elizabeth Wessels-Martin, president and chief empowerment officer at The Center for Women and Families said in a release. “So many survivors turn to us in the midst of a personal safety crisis, and they’re counting on us to provide a safe place for them and their children as they take steps toward building safer lives.”
The center said they have been short staffed and under funded over the past couple years, so this grant will make a huge difference in how they are able to help those in need.
“We’ve seen the economy, we’ve seen an increase in drugs and alcohol in this community,” Wessels-Martin said. “Because when you think about COVID, liquor stores didn’t close. Gun sales went through the roof.”
Wessels-Martin said the center has seen more people come in for help and more domestic violence deaths in Louisville since 2021. They plan to use the funds for help filling their staffing holes and expand their services starting early next year.
In the meantime, Wessels-Martin said she encourages people to call their 24-hour crisis line: 1 (844) BE-SAFE-1 (1-844-237-2331).
“Maybe it’s I’m going to go for walk outside, take your phone and reach out to us,” Wessels-Martin said. “Just finding a few minutes where you can make that contact can save somebody’s life.”
A group of national advisors working with the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund selected The Center for Women and Families as a grant recipient, bringing expertise on finding housing justice, racial equity and helping programs to effectively assist families out of homelessness.
According to the release[, the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund has provided 170 grants and more than $520 million to organizations across the country fighting homelessness and helping families gain housing support.
For more information on the Center For Women and Families, click or tap here.
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