2017 Grantmaking in Lake and Geauga Counties

Doctor in examination room with young patient and her mother

We’re thrilled to announce $172,590 in grants from our Lake-Geauga Fund to organizations serving residents of Lake and Geauga counties. This year’s round of grants from the Lake-Geauga Fund brings our total support to Lake and Geauga counties to $2.8 million in 2017!

Our history of support in Lake and Geauga counties

Established in 1988, the Lake-Geauga Fund of the Cleveland Foundation has distributed more than $17 million over the past 29 years utilizing the advice of its appointed committee. Since its inception, the Fund has been a critical resource to communities in Lake and Geauga counties, as it has provided funding to jumpstart new ideas, guide organizational strategy, leverage additional dollars, and address high priority program needs.

Beginning in 2015, our board decided to fully integrate organizations in Lake and Geauga in the foundation’s monthly grantmaking process. Since that time, the Lake-Geauga Fund of the Cleveland Foundation has served as an additional resource with a more strategic grantmaking focus. One time per year, organizations can apply directly to the Lake-Geauga Fund by responding to an RFP. The Fund prioritizes requests that place an emphasis on collaboration to address important community issues.

“Lake and Geauga counties are part of the core footprint of the Cleveland Foundation’s impact in our community,” said Stephen Caviness, Cleveland Foundation program officer. “In addition to the crucial, dedicated support of the Lake-Geauga Fund, we are pleased to support nonprofit organizations in these two counties throughout the year through our traditional grantmaking pool and with the generous support of our donors.”

Latest grants from the Lake-Geauga Fund

This year’s grants from the Lake-Geauga Fund support a variety of organizations and projects, with a particular focus on combating the opioid crisis:

  • $24,290 to Catholic Charities Corporation to help Geauga County residents build the foundation to rise out of poverty via a new initiative called Stepping Ahead. The program combines employment, mentorships and social service support with the framework of the nationally-recognized Getting Ahead in a Just-Getting-By World initiative, in which participants have demonstrated improvement in mental health and well-being, goal-directed behavior, and social support.
  • $9,300 to DDC Clinic for Special Needs Children to create a more cost-effective method for diagnosing rare genetic disorders by helping fund the development of the initial panel testing kit and lab materials for 100 pilot screens. The goal is to provide physicians with faster and more effective diagnostic tools to test babies for a wide range of genetic disorders commonly found in Geauga Amish families.
  • $40,000 to the Lake Health Foundation, Inc. to provide capital support to double addiction treatment beds in Lake County from 16 to 32. This will allow the community to better meet the demand of the growing opioid crisis as part of the Opiate Recovery Transition Program – a collaboration involving Lake Health, the Lake County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board, Windsor-Laurelwood Center for Behavioral Medicine, Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers and Signature Health.
  • $19,000 to the Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers, Inc. to alleviate client transportation challenges in Lake and Geauga counties with the purchase of a van. The van will help the organization overcome the relative lack of public transportation and the need for employees to use their personal vehicles. This is especially important when transporting clients registered as opiate dependent as they travel to various locations in their progression through the stages of treatment.
  • $10,000 to Leadership Lake County, Inc. to pilot a new model that aims to develop stronger non-profit leaders across Lake and Geauga counties, with a focus on women. The intent is to increase the capacity and strength of Lake and Geauga nonprofits to allow for expanded collaborations and increased effectiveness.
  • $70,000 to University Hospitals Health System, Inc. to pilot an Emergency Department (ED) intervention model to fight the opioid crisis in Geauga County. At UH Geauga Medical Center, an estimated 1,250 ED visits in 2016 were for medical problems related to substance use or addiction. Grant funds will be used to employ a full-time Intervention Specialist to be embedded in the ED during peak hours in order to provide assessment, referral and follow-up.

Other grants supporting Lake and Geauga counties

In addition to grants from our Lake-Geauga Fund, we’ve recently awarded the following grants to organizations serving Lake and Geauga counties through our monthly grantmaking process:

  • $20,000 to Project Hope for the Homeless, an organization that provides emergency shelter, care and guidance to people struggling with homelessness in Lake County. This grant follows a grant we made in 2016 to add a support operations specialist position, which successfully increased the shelter’s capacity to take in guests and transition them out of Project Hope and into a better quality of life. This new grant extends support of that position.
  • $40,800 to the Lake County Free Clinic (LCFC), an organization working to address the unmet healthcare needs of community residents by providing quality medical and dental care. Our grant will support staff additions and technology advancements that will increase capacity to provide care to the community. We have supported LCFC over the past few years, including a $48,000 grant last year to hire a volunteer coordinator position that has helped the clinic recruit volunteer staff and increase service. Part of our latest grant will support a position that manages free medication for patients.

We’re grateful to all the organizations working to enhance the lives of Lake and Geauga County residents, and we look forward to following their work in 2018. For the latest updates on our grantmaking across our three-county footprint, sign up for our monthly e-newsletter here

*Unaudited total