Northland Foundation Awards More Than a Quarter of a Million Dollars in July – September Grants

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Between July 1 and September 30, 2021, the Northland Foundation awarded $238,450 in 16 grants to benefit the people and communities within its service area.

The largest award of $50,000 supports the Arrowhead Intelligent Region initiative to advance broadband infrastructure and access in our rural region. The initiative officially launched in February 2021 and the first round of project grants were awarded in June. Northeast Minnesota economic and community developers, including the Northland Foundation, have joined together to establish a grant pool for funding projects in Northeast Minnesota to:
• improve broadband infrastructure,
• build a knowledge workforce,
• incent innovation,
• ensure digital equality,
• enable community engagement, and
• ensure environmental and social sustainability.

The initiative is led by Blandin Foundation and Minnesota Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation, both longtime regional partners of the Northland Foundation.

"The past 18 months have shown, in stark relief, how a lack of broadband access stifles opportunity—for businesses, schools and students, health care, social connection, needed products and services, and more,” stated Erik Torch, Director of Grantmaking.

“We are pleased to support this collaborative effort aiming to expand access so that, in the not-too-distant future, everyone in our region will have the tools to reach their full potential,” Torch added.

All Northland Foundation grants awarded July through September 2021 are as follows.

Children and Youth

Duluth Early Childhood Family Education, Duluth: $5,000
To help provide parenting and mental health supports for at-risk families.

Duluth Community School Collaborative, Duluth: $20,000
To support a collaborative strategic planning process, increase organizational capacity, and provide additional Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) opportunities for youth.

Mentor North, Duluth: $15,000
To support the strengthening of one-to-one mentoring programming through training and other quality enhancements.

Life House, Inc., Duluth: $30,000
To support out-of-school programming for youth in the Central Hillside neighborhood of Duluth.

YWCA of Duluth, Duluth: $20,000
To provide supportive housing for pregnant and parenting young women ages 16 to 21, assisting them to increase their self-sufficiency while supporting their parenting skills and the needs of their children.

Individual and Community Wellbeing

Rise, Inc., Spring Lake Park: $5,000
To provide services to people with hearing disabilities find, keep, and advance in employment in Northeast Minnesota.

Minnesota Diversified Industries, Minneapolis: $20,000
To support enhancing MDI's Employment Services Program and increase the number of people with disabilities employed in Northeast Minnesota.

Loaves and Fishing Housing, Inc., Duluth: $5,000
To support housing and services to people experiencing homelessness.

Duluth Sobriety Feast, Duluth: $10,000
To support Indigenous-led programming to help people maintain their sobriety.

Advocates for Family Peace, Grand Rapids: $15,000
To support services that increase the safety of victims of domestic violence in Itasca and northern St Louis counties.

Family Pathways, North Branch: $10,000
To provide services that increase the safety for victims of domestic violence in Carlton County.

Ely Community Health Center, Ely: $11,000
To support programming to provide access to health care services for the uninsured.

Blandin Foundation, Grand Rapids: $50,000
To support efforts to expand broadband infrastructure and increase digital equity in northeast Minnesota.

Citizens for Backus, International Falls: $20,000
General operating support to provide critical services at the Backus Community Center.

Economic and Community Vitality

Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Saint Paul: $950
Membership support for programs and activities in Northeast Minnesota.

Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, Saint Paul: $1,500
To support the 2021 Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless annual conference.