We are excited to announce the top two organizations for this year’s Lora M. and E. Claiborne Robins, Sr. Community Innovation Grant (CIG): Commonwealth Catholic Charities and Urban Baby Beginnings (Capital Centers of Virginia). Both organizations have proposed innovative initiatives that take a unique approach and use fresh perspectives and visionary creativity to make a lasting impact on the greater Richmond community.

Commonwealth Catholic CharitiesYouth Housing Stability Project is an all-inclusive, young adult-led process and program innovation that addresses the need for a consistent, trauma-informed, youth-centered hub for young people to access a holistic set of resources, connections with peers and adults, and opportunities to contribute to a broader community effort to end youth housing instability. This project will impact the community in three primary ways. First, building a collective network of community resources to support youth will help them avoid the trauma of housing instability or homelessness. Second, it will develop our community’s ability to achieve the benchmarks set by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness which include the ability to identify the often-invisible population of youth experiencing house instability. Finally, it will foster a space where innovative ideas can be incubated and cultivated among providers and youth committed to ending youth housing instability.

Urban Baby Beginnings [UBB] (Capital Centers of Virginia) – Building Successful Outcomes for Maternal and Child Health aims to increase access for Medicaid-eligible and uninsured pregnant women, ages 15-44, to UBB’s community-based care program to improve pre-term birthrates, and maternal and infant mortality rates. Over 1,000 individuals may be directly impacted by this project which also has the potential to impact 50,000 to 100,000 more individuals who will anecdotally share what they have learned with others and continue to create foundations that affect life expectancy tied to healthy lifestyle and the infant trajectory.

“We heard many powerful presentations from organizations working on a variety of community issues and challenges,” said Juliet Shield-Taylor, Chair, Robins Foundation Board of Directors. “We feel Commonwealth Catholic Charities and Urban Baby Beginnings best represent the possibility for transformation that we are hoping to catalyze with this grant. The Robins Foundation is grateful for the courage and willingness of all of our grant applicants to step up and provide ideas for a path forward toward a greater, stronger Richmond for all.”

The 2019 Community Innovation Grant recipient will be announced on Tuesday evening, March 5th. Stay tuned for the big announcement!

About the CIG

The CIG provides a unique opportunity, and a $500,000 award, for Richmond’s non-profits to propose actionable solutions that will have a meaningful and measurable impact on complex issues that our region has been wrestling with for generations, including homelessness, housing instability, education, workforce development and health.

The CIG cycle started in October 2018 with proposal submissions. Organizations were invited to present ideas to the Robins staff and the CEO of the previous CIG winner. Following those presentations, ten non-profit proposals were invited to host site visits to bring their proposals to life. Next, a committee of the Robins Foundation Board will meet the top five to determine the top two finalists. The recipient of the CIG will be announced by Robins Foundation March 5th.