Gray House receives federal community grant from the City of Springfield

SPRINGFIELD: The city is awarding nearly $200,000 in federal community grants to 11 local nonprofits, Mayor Domenic Sarno announced at a press conference Wednesday.

Speaking at the Springfield Boys & Girls Club, Sarno said that the awards — drawn from $300,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funding — will help the city’s social service organizations repair and maintain their facilities, so they can continue helping Springfield residents.

“This is something that’s very near and dear to my heart because I sat on the other side of this podium with my own South End Community Center,” Sarno said. “I know how much nonprofits and social service agencies provide in youth development, education, employment opportunities.”

The $199,623 in grants will support programs ranging from music education to rehabilitation for men with felony records. The city’s remaining $100,000 will be awarded based on a request for proposals expected to be released this spring.

Each organization is eligible to receive up to $25,000. The grants target capital improvements to the facilities of groups that provide services for low to moderate income households.

City Councilor Thomas Ashe, also Senior Vice President of the YMCA of Greater Springfield — one of the grant recipients — praised the funding as a meaningful show of support to the city’s service agencies.

“From the city, this a great program,” Ashe said “So many nonprofits are struggling and this means so much to all of you and all of us.”

Sarno was joined at the podium by representatives from nonprofits who will benefit from the grants. Each spoke of how the funding will help them advance their mission — from an American with Disabilities Act-compliant bathroom to increase accessibility for students with disabilities, to heating repairs to increase patient comfort at Caring Health Center.

The awards are as follows:

  • $25,000 to the YMCA of Greater Springfield
  • $25,000 to Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services
  • $25,000 to the Children’s Study Home
  • $17,500 to the Community Music School
  • $25,000 to the Boys & Girls Club Family Center
  • $19,100 to the Boys & Girls Club
  • $13,700 to Caring Health Center
  • $17,500 to ROCA
  • $19,145 to The Gray House
  • $9,898 to CHD
  • $4,500 to the SPCA

The city announced its request for proposals for the current round of awards last month.

Previous uses of Community Block Grant money include $300,000 for a renovation project at North Riverfront Park and improvement projects for Pine Point storefronts.