October 26, 2022

Cameron Foundation awards $888,880 in October grant cycle

Concluding its final responsive grant cycle for 2022, The Cameron Foundation has announced $888,880 in new funding for 27 organizations serving the Tri-Cities area, including Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Dinwiddie, Prince George, Sussex and southern Chesterfield County.

The largest grant this cycle was $100,000 awarded to Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Virginia for continued support of the organization’s Comprehensive Community Development Initiative. LISC Virginia is the Central Virginia office of the nation’s largest community development organization, Local Initiatives Support Corporation. LISC Virginia brings together key local partners, community leaders, and decision-makers to take on pressing challenges, incubate innovative solutions, and develop smarter public policies. It supports the development of local leadership and the creation of affordable housing, commercial structures, community facilities and jobs by providing capital, technical expertise, training and information. The organization leverages its extensive toolkit of loans, grants and equity investments to help community developers and other partners revitalize underserved communities.

“LISC Virginia remains an important partner in many of Cameron’s community development initiatives that are focused on stimulating investment and economic opportunity in underserved areas of the region,” noted Cameron’s Board Chair, J. Tolleison Morriss, VI. As examples, the organization has brought $4.8 million in lending to the Tri-Cities area since October 2021, with another $3.7 million for lending under consideration. It has had a central role in the Cameron-facilitated initiative, Partners for Neighborhood Renewal – Poplar Lawn, a demonstration project to show that distressed historic neighborhoods can be saved if resources are targeted on a small area, such as several blocks of a neighborhood. And, LISC Virginia is working in tandem with Petersburg Economic Development Authority and the Longwood Small Business Development Center to launch the Tri-Cities Small Business Capital Access Program to provide coaching and 0% loans of up to $50,000 to small businesses in the region.

Another major award this cycle was made to Gateway Homes Inc., the only organization of its kind to provide wrap-around services for indigent clients throughout Virginia by offering on-campus housing and health care services to individuals with a serious medical illness. The organization operates three levels of residential mental health care programming: Supervised Living Center, Supported Apartment Programs, and Community Living. Cameron’s support for Gateway Homes is directed to its outpatient clinical services. “We believe this is an essential ingredient to the organization’s ultimate goal of providing a transitional residential treatment program for clients,” explained Cameron’s Grants Committee Chair, Jeff Geisz.

A longtime recipient of Cameron support, Gateway Homes now serves 340 clients in 22 different facilities across Virginia. At its main campus in Chesterfield County, it serves 134 individuals, including 64 on-site residents and 70 clients living in the surrounding community. Recidivism rates of Gateway’s clients are consistently low, with a 95% success rate for individuals transitioning into the community, and approximately an 85% success rate for those staying in the community and seeking ongoing services from the organization.

This round of funding also marks The Cameron Foundation’s 18th anniversary of grantmaking. President J. Todd Graham said, “At the same time that Cameron is constantly evolving its work to address the current needs in our community, our grantmaking to nonprofits, government entities and faith-based organizations has remained an essential resource in our collaboration to realize a healthy, vibrant and economically vital region.” Graham, who has announced his retirement at the end of this year, has led The Cameron Foundation since 2012.

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