Community service

Monroe County Awards $151,000 in Community Service Grants – The B Square

Community service grants to 25 organizations totaling $151,220 were approved by Monroe County councilors during their Tuesday evening business session.

The community service grants, which have been awarded annually since 2008, are named after a former county councilor, the late Sophia Travis.

This year’s total figure is about 11.5% higher than last year.

That’s more than the 5% increase in property tax revenue that local governments will see for 2023. An increase in Sophia Travis grant funding greater than the property tax increase was something the Councilor of the county Cheryl Munson had championed awards last year.

Munson is chair of the five-person committee that makes recommendations on grant awards. This year, Munson’s colleagues, Trent Deckard and Jennifer Crossley, as well as two community members, Jean Capler and Joshua Johnson, were also on the committee.

In dollars this year, the top five prizes went to: New Hope for Families ($11,480); Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington ($9,400); The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Foundation ($9,240); Girls, Inc of Monroe County ($7,700); Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monroe County ($7,400). A full table of the year’s awards and the projects they will fund is included below.

A vote to award the awards was taken on two different resolutions – one solely on the awards to Planned Parenthood ($5,000) and All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center ($5,000), and a second resolution on the remaining awards.

The separation put Councilman Marty Hawk in a position to support the resolution covering awards to organizations that have nothing to do with providing abortion services. Hawk’s position is that she will not vote for anything related to the provision of abortion services.

On Tuesday, the topic of abortion services was not discussed among county councilors, and there were no comments during the allotted time at the public weigh-in. Hawk voted no on one resolution and yes on the other.

In 2013, the grants program was renamed in honor of Sophia Travis, who served on the county council from 2004 to 2008. She worked as an advisor to “ensure that applications for the limited funds available for support would be considered in a fair, same transparent and open process,” according to the name change resolution.

At Tuesday’s county council meeting, Crossley said her service on the committee this year marked the first time she worked on the county’s community service grants. But in 2018, Crossley served on the city’s analogous committee to award social service funds, which are named after former city councilman Jack Hopkins.

Crossley said: “We have a lot of needs, whether it’s feeding the hungry or the homeless.”

Deckard praised Munson for his work chairing the committee, expressing his “absolute gratitude to Councilor Munson, who really takes this to heart.”

This year’s total of $151,220 brings the total awarded since 2008 to approximately $1.62 million.

Table: 2022 Awards for Sophia Travis Community Service Grants

Agency Objective Rising
New hope for families make homelessness brief for families $11,480
Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington accessible transportation for Crestmont Youth $9,400
Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Foundation college opportunity visit and DEI training $9,240
Girls Inc of Monroe County evening program fall 2022 $7,700
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monroe County Big Tool Chest Project $7,400
Beacon, Inc. lifesaving tools for homeless people $7,320
Cancer Support Community food aid and transport for patients $6,800
Mother Hubbard’s Closet transportation assistance fund $6,590
Bloomington Rock Girls summer camp $6,550
Indiana Recovery Alliance water safety plan $6,480
New Leaf New Life case management salary support $6,300
residence house residential fire detection and alarm system $6,230
Zone 10 Agency on Aging – Adult Guardianship Program Monroe and Owen County Adult Guardianship Program $5,800
Zone 10 Aging Agency – Endwright Community Center Upgrade Endwright Community Center Upgrade $5,740
Lotus Foundation for Education and the Arts articulated puppets $5,440
All options diaper program $5,000
Planned parenthood safety net family planning services $5,000
Town of Stinesville Stinesville Community Library $5,000
Amethyst House residential food $4,960
Monroe County United Ministries support the MC Family Financial Assistance Fund $4,480
Hoosiers feed the hungry “Meat” the need $4,220
Catholic Charities Bloomington Counseling Services adult ADHD support group $3,260
Courage to change sober life Fresh Start Rent Grant $3,000
Grace Center, Inc. purchase of food $2,880
CJAM – Community Justice and Medication Center program, awareness, training $2,850
First team book Getting back on track with the books $2,100
TOTAL $151,220