Removing barriers through credit unions

The Ohio Credit Union Foundation believes in building stronger communities and removing barriers through credit union partnerships. This specialized grant program is focused on four demographics and is designed to give people a way forward and an opportunity to feel financially empowered. The grant will provide one-time support, up to $10,000, for programs, projects, or initiatives that prioritize individuals reentering local communities. Funding is open to both new/pilot or existing programs, projects, or initiatives.

Project Focus

There are four funding priorities for this year's signature grant program.

Foster Care Youth When children age out of foster care, at the age of 18, they become ineligible to receive state assistance with housing, food, and medical care under the foster care system. For some of these young adults, they are forced to enter their communities with almost no financial education, job skills, or guidance, causing newly emancipated young adults to suffer higher substance abuse rates, teen pregnancy, homelessness, and run-ins with law enforcement.
Domestic Abuse Survivors Victims of domestic abuse suffer from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and dissociation. However, these individuals are also faced with many additional obstacles when reentering a new or existing community. Barriers include the difficulties of single parenting, reduced financial circumstances, or lack of access to cash, bank accounts, or assets.
Ex-offenders Individuals released from correctional facilities often receive very little reentry guidance and support. A lack of financial education resources not only creates a substantial barrier for reentry, but a criminal conviction limits employment prospects, public housing assistance, and social services.
Addiction Recovery Individuals working to remove substance dependency from their lives often must rebuild relationships, jobs, health, and finances. Recovering individuals encounter many barriers, including finding a job and housing, rebuilding credit, and paying down debt.
Customized Have a community reentry project not previously mentioned? Not a problem. The Ohio Credit Union Foundation knows the needs of each community are unique and is here to help.

Project Timeline

Grant Applications

New Beginnings Grant applications will be accepted from May 1, 2021, to Dec. 15, 2021.

Application Requirements

Thoroughly answer the application questions to show how your project will assist the grant focus areas outlined above.

A Grant Results Report and final project budget will be due once the project is complete.

Project Events

Learn more about the New Beginnings Grant at these virtual and in-person events.

New Beginnings Project Luncheon (Columbus)

Ohio Credit Union League 10 West Broad Street, Suite 1100, Columbus

Come have lunch with us and learn about the New Beginnings Project. We'll answer any questions you may have about this specialized grant and connect you with community partners.

New Beginnings Project Luncheon (Dayton)

Jimmies Ladder 11 936 Brown Street, Dayton

Come have lunch with us and learn about the New Beginnings Project. We’ll answer any questions you may have about this specialized grant and connect you with community partners.

New Beginnings Project Luncheon (Cincinnati)

Seasons 52 3819 Edwards Road, Cincinnati

Come have lunch with us and learn about the New Beginnings Project. We’ll answer any questions you may have about this specialized grant and connect you with community partners.

New Beginnings Project Luncheon (Toledo)

Manhattan's Pub 'n Cheer 1516 Adams Street, Toledo

Come have lunch with us and learn about the New Beginnings Project. We’ll answer any questions you may have about this specialized grant and connect you with community partners.

New Beginnings Project Luncheon (Cleveland)

Heck's Cafe 2927 Bridge Avenue, Cleveland

Come have lunch with us and learn about the New Beginnings Project. We’ll answer any questions you may have about this specialized grant and connect you with community partners.

Possible Project Partners

StarHouse

Star House Columbus provides local youth experiencing homelessness with a safe respite & the crucial connections to stabilizing resources—all in one.

ALVIS House

Alvis is a nonprofit human services agency with 50 years of experience providing highly effective treatment programs. Their lines of service include research-based, comprehensive reentry and family support programs; behavioral health and substance abuse treatment services; recovery housing for women and their children; and services to individuals with developmental disabilities who are trying to live more independently in the community.

St. Stephen's Community House

St. Stephen's is a nonprofit based in the eastside neighborhood of Linden, focused on strengthening Franklin County families and community. Through their Neighborhood Service program, St. Stephens provides relief for those in emergency or short-term crises, and helps individuals and families, many of which are impacted by domestic abuse and addiction, to stay intact and stable through the provision of services and/or resources in the community. The St. Stephen's Family to Family program, contracted with Franklin County Children’s Services, helps strengthen and support families that currently have open cases with FCCS. The program focuses on keeping at-risk children in their own homes when possible, all while providing services to help the family achieve self-sufficiency and resolve the problems that brought them to the attention of Children’s Services.

Honest Jobs

Honest Jobs provides a fair chance to individuals impacted by the Criminal Justice System. Since launching in 2019, the nonprofit has attracted over 400 companies by providing technology that makes it easy to offer fair-chance employment while helping to mitigate the risk of negligent hiring.

Christy Clark
Christy Clark Member Outreach Manager E: cclark@ohiocul.org
Kimberly Connor
Kimberly Connor Executive Director E: kconnor@ohiocul.org
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