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Press Release

Women’s Foundation Awards $336,000 in Grants for the WFMN Fund for Safety

The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFMN) has awarded 14 grants totaling $336,000 to nonprofit organizations through its Fund for Safety. The Women’s Foundation’s Fund for Safety resources organizations and programs working to end gender-based violence, a continuum that includes sex trafficking, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, as well as state and structural violence. The Fund for Safety continues and expands upon the investments made through the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota’s MN Girls Are Not for Sale campaign (2011-2019).

In partnership with community leaders, WFMN follows an ethos of listening and responding to community concerns to drive strategic, cross-sector plans and create collective impact. WFMN invests in the organizations, leaders, and the movement to create a Minnesota where girls and women are free from every form of violence and can experience their homes, schools, and communities as safe places. 

In virtual site visits, grantee-partners shared that they are seeing a decrease in grant funding availability, alongside greater costs and need for services caused by the heightened isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding arrives at a critical time for our Safety community partners, yet the need is still great.

All WFMN grants support general operating expenses which provide greater flexibility for organizations in a time of heightened need and demand for services. Funding general operations is crucial for organizations to build stability around community-sustaining programs.

Of the Safety partners, 14 percent are receiving WFMN funding for the first time, 36 percent work in rural and Greater Minnesota, 57 percent are led by Black, Indigenous, and women of color. Funded programs will directly serve an estimated 9,502 women, men, girls, boys, and gender-expansive people across the state.

Grantee-Partners:

Ain Dah Yung Center (St. Paul) | $25,000 –To support culturally responsive case management services for Indigenous youth facing the dual challenges of sexual exploitation and homelessness through the center’s Zhawenimaa Safe Harbor program. Zhawenimaa links youth to services like housing assessments, culturally responsive programming, weekly individual therapy, connection to pro bono legal services, educational goal setting, workforce goal setting and skills training, medical/dental referrals, and periodic onsite health screenings.

Asian Women United of Minnesota (Minneapolis) | $25,000 – To support the House of Peace (HOP) and Community Advocacy Program (CAP) in providing culturally responsive shelter and advocacy in response to a greater need for enhanced safety at the shelter amid the rise of anti-Asian discrimination.

Committee Against Domestic Abuse (Mankato) | $25,000 – To support comprehensive services as the region’s sole service provider for survivors of domestic and sexual violence through a family- and survivor-centered shelter, community advocates across the region, supervised parenting time and exchange centers, violence prevention education, and the Southern Minnesota Offender Education Program.

CornerHouse (Minneapolis) | $25,000 – To support the only child advocacy center in Hennepin County as it expands its service delivery model for increased access to abuse response, prevention, and trauma reduction services for underserved populations.

Esperanza United (St. Paul) | $25,000 – To resource a pilot program aimed at supporting young Latin@ folks as they transition from youth to adulthood. This program will build on the success of the Young Amig@s program and employ a cohort model to engage participants in conversation about adult relationships, consent, gender-based violence, dating violence, harassment, Title IX, mental health and self-care, time management, women’s health, financial literacy, and more.

Family Safety Network (FSN) (Walker) | $25,000 – To support person-centered advocacy through a spectrum of services to victims and survivors of domestic violence in an underserved region. With no other domestic violence shelters in the area, FSN provides certified crisis-informed practitioners, mental health programming, financial empowerment courses, independent living skills and a hotel/motel shelter voucher system, housing entry point and assistance with rapid re-housing, free legal clinics, legal kiosks, and legal advocacy.

Liberty Community Church, PCUSA (Minneapolis) | $25,000 – To support and strengthen the student-led Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) anti-violence programming. YPAR’s youth-directed goal is to decrease gender-based violence, including sex trafficking and sexual exploitation, through anti-violence messaging to community and elected officials, community education, and promotion of healthy masculinity. Youth will also host two Teen Anti Violence Summits on June 18 and December 17.

The Link (Minneapolis) | $25,000 – To support staff leadership in the anti-trafficking movement, as well as support salaries and training for youth workers, grounded in a racial equity framework and focused on media, legislation, advocacy, communications, and leadership.

Men as Peacemakers (MAP) (Duluth) | $25,000 – To support programming based in its foundational We Are All Connected framework, dedicated to shifting our collective culture towards a healthier idea of “normal” for individuals and society. MAP builds safe communities through programs that address and undermine the root causes of gender-based violence including sexism, male dominance, white supremacy, racism, classism, homophobia, and transphobia.

Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition (St. Paul) | $25,000 – To support the holistic wellness and growth of staff and to create model policies and trainings for coalition membership led by values and heart.

Phumulani MN African Women Against Violence (Minneapolis) | $25,000 – To resource 54 healing circles for women and girls specific to the 54 African immigrant cultural communities represented in Minnesota and to implement a community-integrated approach to engage men and boys in the prevention of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault (Duluth) | $25,000 – To support staff trainings and holistic well-being, fund stipends for advocates responding to calls from hospitals, and resource culturally specific healing for drug and alcohol support groups at a local treatment center.

Ruth’s House of Hope, Inc. (Faribault) | $11,000 – To support the trauma-informed care and responsive case management provided at the sole domestic violence emergency and transitional shelter in Faribault.

Terebinth Refuge (Waite Park) | $25,000 – To support the strengths-based, trauma-informed holistic services for trafficked and sexually exploited women through Terebinth’s shelter program, transitional housing program, and employment readiness program.

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