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2018 Women's Fund Grants

In 2017 the Women's Fund convened four strategy labs to dive deep into the data from the Women's Issues are Community Issues report. The labs resulted in a targeted focus on four building blocks to a woman's economic security: education, child care, housing and unintended pregnancy prevention. 

Thanks to the Women's Fund investors, the Fund was able to grant four awards of $50,000 to these nonprofits working in the four focus areas. 

Housing

Housing is the anchor to economic security for women and children, who are the most vulnerable to housing instability and cost burdens.  The Women’s Fund focuses our housing investments on increasing supportive services for women and children living in affordable housing. 


Grant Partner: Saint Louise House
Wraparound Services for Women and Children

Saint Louise House serves very low-income single mothers who are seeking more than just a place to live. They are seeking the opportunity to build a better life for themselves and their children. Wraparound Services for Mothers and Children include on-site case management; counseling; life skills workshops; employment services; a food and supply pantry; assistance for childcare, transportation, and utilities; and flexible funds to support goals in health, education, employment, and other areas. Our approach of “doing for, doing with, and cheering on” empowers women and supports them as they build a secure economic future for themselves and their children. We invite the Women’s Fund to join our community of two-generation, wraparound support for women and their children. A grant from the Women’s Fund will support our expansion from 37 to 40 apartments within the next year. At least 130 women and children will benefit from our wraparound services.

Child Care

Child care is essential work support for women seeking to provide for their families and secure their futures, yet there is a lack of quality, affordable child care in Central Texas.  The Women’s Fund focuses our child care investments on funding the expansion of proven programs/providers to increase access to child care for low-income families.


Grant Partner: Open Door Preschools
The Missing Piece: Easing Access to Open Door Preschools for Low-Income Mothers

Open Door Preschools, with two sites in East Austin and one in Clarksville, has been at the forefront of high-quality early childhood education and inclusion in Austin for 43 years. We serve children from infancy to kindergarten-age. We are NAEYC-accredited, the gold standard in the field, and serve families across the socioeconomic spectrum. Most low-income families receive tuition subsidies through WorkForce, which frequently has lengthy waiting lists, causing qualified families to wait many months to access subsidies. Moreover, mothers often face a Catch 22: they must be working or in school or job training to qualify for child care subsidies, but they cannot secure a job or enroll in school without first having childcare in place. “The Missing Piece: Easing Access to Open Door Preschools for Low-Income Mothers” will provide bridge funding so that more families in need will have quality child care when they need it.

Education

Education is a pathway out of poverty. With every step up the educational ladder, women see increases in salary and are therefore better able to provide for the basic needs of their families. The Women’s Fund focuses our educational investments on supporting a path to post-secondary success and participation in the workforce.


Grant Partner: Con Mi MADRE
Providing a pathway for postsecondary success for Latina youth

Con Mi MADRE has operated in the Austin area for 26 years, initially as the Hispanic Mother-Daughter Program of the Junior League of Austin and as an independent nonprofit since 2008. Our education and support services have been delivered to over 3,000 young Latinas and their mothers with the following outcomes:

  • 100% high school graduation;
  • 80% postsecondary enrollment;
  • 54% postsecondary persistence and completion;
  • <1% teenage pregnancy (without teen-pregnancy prevention programming).

Our evidence based curriculum engages mothers in their daughter’s educational journey starting in the 6th grade and provides young Latinas with a 260% better chance at a college education. We ask the Women’s Fund to support Con Mi MADRE in expanding our Postsecondary Preparedness Program to a new cohort of 210 6th grade Latinas and their mothers at 14 middle schools starting fall 2018. Together, we are building our nation’s future Latina leaders and educated workforce.
 

Unintended Pregnancy Prevention

Preventing unintended pregnancy is vital in maintaining pathways to economic security. Unintended pregnancy leaves women less likely to finish their career and school goals and more likely to raise their children in poverty.  The Women’s Fund focuses our unintended pregnancy prevention investments on increasing access to long acting reversible contraception (LARCs).


Grant Partner: Planned Parenthood
LARC Initiative: Teen Pregnancy Prevention

Planned Parenthood’s mission is to create healthier communities by providing comprehensive, reproductive and related healthcare services, delivering science-based education programs, and serving as a strong advocate for reproductive justice in Texas. Each year, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas serves as an important healthcare safety net for more than 85,000 women, men, and young adults throughout our service region.

Planned Parenthood’s LARC Initiative: Teen Pregnancy Prevention program will increase access to vital preventative healthcare and contraception for at-risk teens through our three Austin health centers. PPGT will connect at-risk teens to no-cost testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and their choice of birth control, including long acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), through the provision of health education, same-day appointments, online appointment scheduling, and same-day provision of contraception, including intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants.