The ESL Charitable Foundation will provide a $5 million Innovation Grant to United Way of Greater Rochester to support community members in addressing barriers related to poverty and improving quality of life.
The grant will be divided into two categories: $4 million will go toward Project Uplift to support and administer interventions for community members experiencing barriers to well-being and economic stability, and $1 million will be used to enhance a housing stability initiative that supports community members with housing needs.
Approximately half of the grant will be deployed throughout Monroe County, with the other half implemented through regional United Way partners in Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans and Wayne counties.
“ESL is supporting United Way’s initiative of empowering people to be their own best advocates for what they need to thrive,” said Jaime Saunders, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Rochester. “We are proud to partner with ESL and our current Community Impact Fund program providers to bring this needed support directly to individuals throughout our region. Together, we believe in listening to those we serve and addressing needs using innovative strategies with longstanding partners.”
All funds will be administered through United Way’s program partners and provided directly to point of payment based on clients’ identified needs. Clients must ensure documentation — an invoice, receipt, apartment lease, etc. — is provided to the appropriate program partner.
Individuals seeking assistance can call the 211 Helpline, a community resource for human service resources and referrals. As the programs are implemented, call specialists will direct individuals to organizations and programs that best meet the callers’ identified needs.