Eight nonprofit organizations serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Rhode Islanders will share $53,000 in grants through the Equity Action Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation.
The funding will support work ranging from civil rights advocacy for families and youth to improving the delivery of health care. The announcement comes as the Foundation’s Equity Action Fund celebrates its 15th anniversary.
Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI) received $5,000 to support its Emergency Financial Assistance program for LGBTQ+ individuals living with HIV under its AIDS Project Rhode Island program. The grant comes as FSRI seeks to replace the loss of about $800,000 in state funding.
FSRI CEO, Margaret Holland McDuff said, “This funding will enable us to continue providing short-term payments to assist with emergency expenses such as essential utilities, housing, food and medication. This support is critical as our services are faced with a sudden and unexpected cut in funding. Now we have a brief reprieve in which to continue client care while identifying alternative sources of funding.”
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New Urban Arts received $5,000 to support the Untitlement Project, a summer program in which low-income youth use writing and art to explore issues of identity, including gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Students meet four days a week. About one-third of its 700 students identify as LGBTQ, according to the organization.
Project Weber/RENEW received $8,500 for its Transgender Outreach Project. The funds will be used to support a trans peer outreach worker who will focus on high-risk trans individuals on the streets.
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SAGE-Rhode Island received $9,000 to train nurses, social workers, community service providers and other healthcare staff working in long-term care, acute care facilities and community agencies. The goal is to train at least 100 staff members from long-term care facilities, hospitals and community agencies. SAGE-RI will provide at least six hours of workshops, focused on developing LGBT cultural competency
Sojourner House received $6,500 to provide shelter, housing and supportive services to LGBTQ victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. In addition, Sojourner plans to provide training and education on LGBTQ abuse and cultural competency issues to at least 100 law enforcement and social services professionals.
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Thundermist Health Center in Warwick received $8,000 to support its Trans Health and Wellness Program. The grant will enable the organization to expand its social- and community-building events to improve the physical and mental health and wellness of the trans community.