2020 CIG Top Five Finalists

We are excited to announce the Top 5 finalists for the 2020 Lora M. and E. Claiborne Robins Community Innovation Grant.

  • Help Me Help You Foundation
  • Housing Families First
  • Housing Opportunities Made Equal
  • Latinos in Virginia Empowerment
  • YMCA of Greater Richmond

“This dynamic group of finalists embodies the spirit of the CIG,” said Robert Dortch, Robins’ VP of Program and Community Innovation. “They are driven to collaboratively find solutions to help address our community’s unmet needs. It’s been exciting to take a deep dive with each of them and see how committed they are to serving children and families in our community through these transformative ideas.”

Each finalist is committed to finding unique approaches, offering fresh perspectives and using visionary creativity to find innovative, long-term, sustainable solutions to the issues our region has been facing for decades.

For Robins, the CIG presents an opportunity to help organizations make an impact in the community by partnering and collaborating with them over the course of several years to build the innovation, implement it in the community, give the community and opportunity to embrace it, and then measure and report the results.

We asked each of our 2020 applicants to describe their innovative idea and project and its impact in the community and tell us what will be different in the lives of the target population as a result. We also requested they specify the project’s intended change and how funds provided by Robins will be used. Here is what each had to say.

Organization: Help Me Help You Foundation
Project Title: HMHY Reentry Navigation Continuum of Care
Response: 89% of lived experience expert’s (LEE’s) who participated in the Richmond Family Reentry CoC planning process expressed the desire for their most basic needs to make a difference in their lives. Adequately responding to intergenerational poverty and justice inequities requires funded programs built on the individual and collective strengths of LEE’s and, their institutional knowledge and skills to most effectively assist peers returning to the local Richmond Community.

CIG funding will help provide:

  • Navigational support and clinical case management for 50 unique Richmond families over a two-year period. Integrated evidenced-based practices and equitable barrier-free access will ensure families are directly connected to appropriate service interventions based on their own needs surrounding family reunification and restoration.
  • Six weekly intensive in-home counseling services to the entire family to reinforce parenting program lessons and the family’s ability to strengthen communication, build healthy connections, and overcome difficulties.
  • Support for a local feasibility study to explore the development of a formal data exchange network, systemwide community-based risk need assessment tool that addresses the intersecting needs of returning citizens and their families. This public safety strategy will ensure the target population has equitable opportunities for family reunification and reintegration success, as defined by them and rule of law.

Organization: Housing Families First
Project Title: Bringing Families Home
Response: Housing Families First (HFF) is a primary provider of crisis housing services for Richmond-area families experiencing homelessness. Originally founded in 2001 as Hilliard House, HFF supports families with minor children in accessing shelter and finding permanent housing, then connecting them with community resources to keep it.

In partnership with the Richmond Public Schools McKinney-Vento Program, HFF proposes a project to provide assistance with housing search, rental applications, lease negotiation, and move-in funds so that unserved students and their families can secure stable housing and end their homelessness.

This partnership project will provide the foundation of stable housing on which students can build improved school attendance, reduced behavioral concerns, and/or improved academic achievement, while also providing parents and non-school-age siblings with the benefits of safety and stability.

Organization: Housing Opportunities Made Equal
Project Title: Eviction Diversion Program
Response: Many people who are facing eviction have fallen behind on paying their rent due to an unexpected circumstance or unforeseen event. In an effort to prevent a temporary hardship from devastating a family, HOME will reduce the number of children destabilized by eviction, and will intervene in the eviction process and help 450 people annually maintain their existing housing. The program utilizes volunteer legal conciliation, negotiating a payment plan to reconcile the past-due amount owed and a financial empowerment course. Once accomplished, these efforts may enable families to avoid the inevitable anxiety and stress that often accompanies an eviction. contributing to a more stable physical and psychological environment for students and their families to thrive.

 Organization: Latinos in Virginia Empowerment
Project Title: Latinos Empowerment Center
Response: Latinos In Virginia Empowerment Center (The LIVE Center) was established with the belief that members of the Latino/Hispanic Community have the cultural knowledge and language proficiency to best work with and engage Spanish-speaking victims through services.

This project will impact this community by creating a coordinated, consistent, reliable, accessible, affordable, comprehensive, and most importantly, a culturally appropriate approach that ensures access to timely and accurate information about victims’ rights and available services.

Latinos Empowerment Center is a peer model that aims to tap into the abilities of individuals to share critical information and resources, as well as empower the community and promote healthy relationships with other community members.

Organization: YMCA of Greater Richmond
Project Title: Newcomer Welcome Center (NWC)
Response: An innovative, collaborative effort, the NWC will reduce barriers and increase immigrants’ access to critical health and social needs services. Robins’ support will help launch the YMCA’s NWC, which will serve the immigrant community through tailored programs delivered in conjunction with community partners including schools, nonprofits, houses of faith, and local government, and referrals to a wide variety of other programs and services.

The NWC will promote equity in the Richmond region by engaging newcomers in culturally competent programs and services with the goal of addressing the community’s most pressing needs in accessible location(s).

About the CIG

The CIG provides a unique opportunity 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.

2020 CIG Top 10 Finalists

We are pleased to announce the top 10 nonprofit organizations for the 2020 Lora M. and E. Claiborne Robins, Sr. Community Innovation Grant (CIG).

Awarded annually the CIG seeds a $500,000 proposal that applauds the imaginative, cooperative spirit of Greater Richmond. The award is designed to support a project that addresses unmet community needs or issues and shows innovation in programs, process, partnership and/or policy.

Through the CIG, we are able to connect the Foundation’s past with our future by highlighting the innovative and progressive characteristics of our founders. We know that our nonprofit partners have the expertise to create solutions to the most pressing challenges our region faces today.

Each of the top 10 finalist’s proposals demonstrates an innovative approach to solving the need, strategic collaboration and the potential for wider, long-term impact on the impacted audience.

The top 10 finalists for 2020 are:

  • Circles RVA – Building Community to End Poverty
  • Storefront for Community Design – 6PIC Culturally Responsive Career Success Pipeline
  • Housing Families First – Bringing Families Home
  • Help Me Help You Foundation – HMHY Reentry Navigation Continuum of Care
  • Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia Inc – Eviction Diversion Program
  • Communities in Schools of Petersburg – Charting for Success
  • Young Men’s Christian Association of Greater Richmond – Newcomer Welcome Center
  • Full Circle Grief Center – Grief Counseling Groups in Elementary Schools
  • Richmond Autism Integration Network – RAIN Social Skill Program Support and Community Outreach Proposal
  • Latinos In Virginia Empowerment Center – Latin@ Empowerment Center

The CIG will be awarded to one of these finalists on March 3, 2020.

“Our non-profit partners remain committed to the innovative thinking and collaboration that is essential to bringing about transformative solutions to complex social issues impacting children and families in our region,” said Robert Dortch, Robins’ VP of Program and Community Innovation. “This year’s finalists are a dynamic and diverse group whose visions for transforming education, health, housing, workforce development, and reducing poverty have the potential to create a lasting and meaningful impact for generations to come.”

Robins Foundation was established in 1957 by E. Claiborne Robins, Sr. and Lora M. Robins. The vision of the Foundation is to advance the greater Richmond community through strategic partnerships, collaborations and education, all of which will serve as a model for creating an environment of fairness and opportunity for everyone to thrive. To achieve this vision, Robins continues to conduct and support initiatives that encourage policy shifts, align with peers and nonprofits around community issues, and make investments that cultivate and support innovative solutions. Please browse our website for more information about Robins Foundation, the Robins family, or grant deadlines and giving focus.