By Dawn Wolfe Gutterman
DETROIT – On July 10 the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan announced grants totaling $44,735 from The Hope Fund to assist agencies and organizations that support the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and communities. The July grants bring the total number of grants awarded from the inception of the HOPE fund in 1994 to over $1 million.
Grants were awarded to Affirmations Lesbian and Gay Community Center, Elder Law of Michigan, Gilda’s Club-Metro Detroit and Habitat of Humanity of Huron Valley.
Affirmations received $25,000 to support the creation of social and recreational programs for LGBT individuals. The programs are a result of a marketing survey conducted within the local LGBT community, which identified such programming as the biggest need.
“We’re thrilled with our grant,” said Michael Mirto, the Center’s development director. “Social and recreational programs are necessary to fuel the human spirit, strengthen the physical self, and create a series of connections to others in the community. The time has come to direct our focus on creating a more connected LGBT community.”
Elder Law of Michigan in Lansing received $10,000 for support to establish a legal hotline for older adults in the LGBT community. The hotline will enable seniors to connect with attorneys and law students for advice on wills, estate plans, powers-of-attorney and other legal matters.
Gilda’s Club in Royal Oak was awarded $4,735 to support grief and counseling services for LGBT individuals who have lost a loved one to cancer. Services include support groups facilitated by licensed LGBT counselors, supper lectures facilitated by experts in the field of grief and loss, and annual remembrance celebrations.
Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley in Ann Arbor received $5,000 to support Rainbow House, Michigan’s first LGBT-sponsored Habitat for Humanity build. In addition to helping a family in need, the goal the project is to build awareness of LGBT individuals’ contributions to the well being of society.
“It’s absolutely wonderful,” said Rainbow House co-Chair Nicole Appleberry. “We’re extremely happy that they understood and appreciated what we’re trying to do with Rainbow House.
For more information on The HOPE Fund visit http://www.cfsem.org/publications/index.html.