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UMOM New Day Centers get $5M from Bezos Day 1 Families Fund

photo of UMOM volunteers
This one-time, uniquely flexible grant will support UMOM in serving as a critical lifeline to children and adults in families experiencing homelessness, who represent more than a quarter of the homeless population nationally. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress)
UMOM New Deay Center funds part of larger Bezos family funding push
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

UMOM New Day Centers is announcing a $5 million grant from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund.

This is the sixth round of annual Day 1 Families Fund grants, which recognize leading organizations doing compassionate, needle-moving work to help families experiencing homelessness secure housing and achieve stability, according to a press release.

This grant will build on the $5 million Day 1 Families Fund grant UMOM received in 2018, the release states.

“Over the last several years, we’ve seen an increase in families of five or more on the waitlist for emergency shelter. UMOM is taking the lead to reconstruct and build out flexible emergency shelter space that can accommodate larger and/or multigenerational families. Adding this capacity on our existing campus helps us maximize efficiencies and meet the growing need,” said Jackson Fonder, CEO of UMOM.

“We believe that family homelessness is solvable through a simple formula of ‘Jobs + Housing = Ending Homelessness.’ This grant will help us continue to create and implement innovative solutions to help larger families get out of homelessness and ultimately into safe, stable housing.”

This one-time, uniquely flexible grant will support UMOM in serving as a critical lifeline to children and adults in families experiencing homelessness, who represent more than a quarter of the homeless population nationally.

UMOM plans to use its Day 1 Families Fund grant to fund shelter and support programs serving large families, such as individualized case management, workforce development training, job placement support, officials tell the Arizona Digital Free Press.

UMOM New Deay Center funds part of larger Bezos family funding push

UMOM was selected as a Day 1 Families Fund grant recipient by a group of national advisors who are leading advocates and experts on homelessness and service provision. National advisors brought expertise on housing justice, advancing racial equity and helping programs employ resources effectively to assist families out of homelessness.

Over the past six years, the Day 1 Families Fund has provided 208 grants totaling more than $630 million to organizations around the country working on the frontlines to identify and help unsheltered families, according to a press release.

A selection of more than half of the Day 1 Families Fund grantees who received funding between 2018 through 2021 report that, to date, they have used their grants to divert more than 28,000 families from experiencing homelessness, connect more than 30,000 unsheltered families with safe shelter and help more than 75,000 families access the services they need, the release states.

This year, the fund issued a total of $117.55 million in grants to 38 organizations, officials say.

The Day 1 Families Fund has now granted this award to organizations in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. New states this year include Arkansas, Vermont and Wyoming. The other organizations receiving grants in Arizona are Native American Connections and Primavera Foundation.

The full list of awardees is available at bezosdayonefund.org/day1familiesfund

Launched in 2018, the Bezos Day One Fund made a $2 billion commitment to focus on making meaningful and lasting impacts in two areas: funding existing nonprofits that help families experiencing homelessness, and creating a network of new, nonprofit tier-one preschools in low-income communities.

The Bezos Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to help families experiencing homelessness—including those who are unsheltered or staying in shelters—regain safe, stable housing and achieve well-being.

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