2 Menlo Park-based charities share $55K in grants

By Kevin Kelly | 

ap

This article was originally published in The Mercury News.

Two Menlo Park-based nonprofits that rely on philanthropic funding to support low-income residents received an infusion this week from Bank of America.

The bank, which operates a charitable foundation, announced Monday that it had doled out $610,000 in grants to 29 Silicon Valley nonprofits. LifeMoves and JobTrain, both headquartered in the city’s bayfront area, received $30,000 and $25,000, respectively.

Bank of America, in a news release, said it is providing a total of nearly $43 million in grants this year to nonprofits around the country “to advance economic mobility through workforce development and basic needs.”

Lois Marshall-Ward, senior development officer for JobTrain, said the grant will go toward training programs to “help people move from unemployment to a mid- to high-level job and become self-sustaining.” JobTrain offers free post-secondary education to low-income people, of which 31 percent are inmates or former inmates.

Marshall-Ward said Bank of America has been supporting the job-training organization with money and volunteers since 1992.

“JobTrain is grateful to have this high level of support every year from a local corporate partner, as it (is) critical to helping us provide our core services — job training and placement — to our students,” she said in an email.

Brian Greenberg, vice president of programs and services for LifeMoves, agrees on the need for philanthropic giving, particularly from corporate donors. The nonprofit, formerly known as InnVision Shelter Network, provides homeless services in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

Greenberg said government funding pays for food and shelter, but none of the programs. Those programs include courses on financial literacy, learning to cook nutritious meals for under $6 and mandatory savings as “insurance against further homelessness.

“Without philanthropic funding, this would just be a flophouse,” he said. “It’s important for people to understand our clients are working in the service sector. When you’re making $12 to $16 an hour, it’s even more important to make smart financial decisions and that’s what Bank of America’s funding helps us to do. Everything’s magnified when you’re in a low (wage) service-sector job.”

7/13/2017


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