Above: Rebuilding Together – Twin Cities volunteer building a ramp to improve accessibility for a Saint Paul homeowner.

The so called “silver tsunami” of aging baby boomers is upon us and is already stretching the capacity of local organizations providing services to seniors in our community. According to the Greater Twin Cities United Way, between now and 2030 the number of Twin Cities area adults aged 65+ is expected to nearly double, while the number of younger residents will increase only modestly. And, about 1 in 13 seniors locally are living at or below the poverty line. The added requests for help, compounded by the increasing costs of food, healthcare, and other services, represent the escalating need. The difficulties facing this very vulnerable population are mounting.

This is where the Social Impact Grant Program of the Catholic Community Foundation (CCF) comes into play. The Social Impact Grant Program addresses three social priorities in an annual rotation: Elderly Programs, Youth Programs, and Young Mothers and Fathers In Need. This year’s priority was Elderly Programs, and CCF’s specific goal was to help keep disadvantaged seniors living independently as long as possible by supporting organizations that provide such services as home-delivered meals, transportation, and in-home medical assistance. Eight $8,000 – $12,000 Social Impact Grants were awarded to the following organizations:

  • Rebuilding Together Twin Cities – Safe At Home/Access Always – $10,000
    Provides small home safety modifications for elders as well as large accessibility modifications such as ramps.
  • Dayton’s Bluff Seniors – General Operating Support – $10,000
    Provides transportation for medical, food, and socialization purposes; a chores program; volunteer food delivery; in-home nursing care; and social events.
  • Sabathani Community Center – Senior Center Programs – $12,000
    Offers health clinic and health services as well as socialization programs.
  • Merrick Community Services – Senior Services – $12,000
    Provides Meals on Wheels, brown bag lunches, social programs, and a block nurse.
  • TRUST – Continuum of Care – $10,000
    An ecumenical consortium of several church congregations who collaborate to serve seniors more effectively. Programming includes Meals on Wheels, chore program, parish nurse, grocery transport, estate sales, grief coalition, prayer shawls, and life enrichment opportunities.
  • Neighbors, Inc. – Dial-a-Ride – $12,000
    Developed by 30 faith communities, the Dial-a-Ride program provides transportation in areas with limited public transportation.
  • Northeast Senior Services – Wellness/Rides Program – $10,000
    Faith-based group that provides one-on-one services to seniors in their homes. Using many seniors as volunteers, programming includes transportation, wellness, foot clinic, insurance counseling, and social outings.
  • Faith In Action – General Operating Support – $8,000
    Provides transportation and alleviates isolation through home visits, respite care, chore program, shopping assistance, and book delivery.

Our Social Impact Grant Program was only able to make grants to a third of the applications we reviewed. All of the applicants run high-quality programs, all are past recipients of support from CCF, and all would benefit from further financial support.

If you are a donor advisor and would like to see a list of these organizations, please click here. Contact Grants Program Manager Meg Payne Nelson at 651.389.0882 or Grants Manager Jules Vierling at 651.389.0880 for more information about the specific programs for which these organizations seek funding.  

Per annual rotation, the Social Impact priority next year will be Young Mothers and Fathers In Need. As with all the priorities in our Social Impact program, our grants are designed to help the most needy in our community. Due to the limited amount of funding available, our applications are currently solicited by invitation only.

If you would like to join with us to increase support in this area, please consider donating to the fund for next year’s Social Impact Grants. To contribute with your Donor Advised Fund, please indicate the following fund on your printed grant recommendation form or in Donor Central: Catholic Community Foundation – Community Priorities. The need is great and together we can leverage our mutual support for the greatest impact. Help us build strong outcomes together. 


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