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The Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County awarded funding to five local nonprofits to ensure they can continue providing assistance to clients throughout the coronavirus crisis. As part of the COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Funding from a local funding consortium, the Children’s Services Council has committed to grants now totaling more than $120,000.
Programs receiving funding during this round of grants include Florida Community Health Centers, Mustard Seed Ministries, Roundtable of St. Lucie County, Suncoast Mental Health, Inc., and The Inner Truth Project.
As all programs are having to shift the ways they provide services during this pandemic, The Roundtable of St. Lucie County has developed an especially creative way to interact with the youth in their Ignite Youth Alliance program. The program works with youth involved in, or at risk for being involved in, gangs, high-risk street activities and community violence. With school closures now spanning months, their outreach workers are concerned about potential violence and other detrimental activities that could threaten their relationship with the youth in the program.
In order to maintain that relationship, the outreach workers have engaged youth via phone and social media and are doing limited home visits while practicing social distancing and hygiene guidelines. But, understanding the need for more pro-social activities, the group has developed a way for them to stay connected. When the students in their program have completed their school work for the day, they are teamed up with an Outreach Worker from the program and matched into a virtual basketball tournament. The grant for the program provided headsets, games and gaming subscriptions for youth participating in the program and those working with them.
Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County, along with Allegany Franciscan Ministries, the Community Foundation Martin – St. Lucie, and United Way of St. Lucie County have joined together to establish a coordinated application process for local organizations seeking support with coronavirus relief. Funding priorities established by the group include: emergency food, shelter and other basic needs; expansion of service capacity related to increased demand for direct services; access to health care services for uninsured and underinsured clients; and technology or other resources to allow agencies to continue providing services.
The Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County improves the lives of more than 50,000 children and families in our community by funding and partnering with quality agencies to ensure that every baby is a healthy baby, to stop child abuse before it happens, to keep kids off the streets, to keep them in school, and to keep them away from drugs, alcohol and other risky behaviors.