The first year of The Northwest Project indicates the initial participants achieved significant progress toward economic self-sufficiency and increased income, along with improvements in health and wellness, housing stability and life skills.
In addition, NWP resources have provided benefit to the wider Grant Beach neighborhood and created a culture of volunteer and in-kind support that is extending the grant funding for additional participation and resources.
The NWP is funded by a $1.3 million grant from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, with additional support from the Stanley & Elaine Ball Foundation, managed by Central Trust, and the Musgrave Foundation. The CFO awarded the grant in April 2016 to a partnership led by the Drew Lewis Foundation, Missouri State University and Drury University.
The grant is structured on a renewable basis tied to an annual review. The grant review committee, comprised of community volunteers, voted unanimously this month to extend funding for the second year.
The NWP is focused in northwest Springfield, where poverty exceeds the city’s overall rate of 25.6 percent. The CFO awarded its largest single grant ever to create a pilot project to help families emerge from living in poverty and sustain their improved circumstances over time.
“We are encouraged by the results of the first year of our programs,” Project Manager Amy Blansit said. “The hard work and resiliency of our participants cannot be understated when we look at our success.”
To see the full report, visit: www.cfozarks.org/northwest.