31 Aug Miller Foundation Supports Nonprofits and Launches New Initiatives
The Earl B. and Loraine H. Miller Foundation recently awarded over $1.8 million in annual grants to 59 local nonprofits serving children and families in Long Beach, the highest total in the organization’s history. In considering where funding would be directed this year, foundation leaders expressed that focus was placed on communities in Long Beach with limited access to services.
“We asked applicants to tell us where their greatest impact would be,” explains Ron Arias, Foundation Board Chair and retired City of Long Beach Health Department Director. “And we looked at zip codes and neighborhoods that were most affected by COVID and revealed by the city’s most recent health assessment to be most under-resourced. Not surprisingly, these areas overlapped.”
Additionally, the foundation was instrumental in helping to launch two innovative initiatives to further address the community’s greatest needs.
The first, the Nonprofit Professional Services Fund, addresses critical needs of local service organizations and providers, such as waning staff numbers, lack of technical support, and need for legal guidance. “The pandemic had detrimental effects for our nonprofit partners. The fund will provide vital resources, such as human resources consulting and one-on-one problem-solving to groups who can in turn then focus on the most important task of all–helping families who need it,” Arias says.
And as CDC statistics show crisis in youth mental health, with numbers rising for depression and thoughts of suicide in young people, the foundation has partnered with CSULB to bring the Strengthening Youth Resiliency in Long Beach program to fruition. The project, which will is slated to place certified mental health workers and graduate interns at Washington and Franklin Middle Schools and three Long Beach Boys and Girls Club sites, starts its pilot program in the fall. Darick J. Simpson, Miller Foundation president, says that “This is a unique opportunity to advance mental health for our adolescents, where we are seeing significant need. This program will reach students and connect them with mental health interventions, peer mentoring resources and wellness. On top of this, the program serves a two-fold purpose by assisting CSULB Social Work students to fulfil their graduation requirements — all partners benefit!”