Basic Needs Grant Aims to Lift Up Oshkosh Neighborhoods

Oshkosh residents will soon be given the opportunity to revitalize their neighborhoods thanks to a $300,000 grant over three years from the Basic Needs Giving Partnership. The Rock the Block program – a collaborative effort of Habitat for Humanity Oshkosh, Greater Oshkosh Healthy Neighborhoods, Inc. (GO-HNI) and the City of Oshkosh – was one of five new grant proposals that recently received funding.

Rock the Block brings people together to create positive and visible change in the community’s aging neighborhoods. “As Habitat Oshkosh looked for ways to serve more people, it became evident we couldn’t just build more houses. We needed to focus on building communities through neighbor engagement. That’s what Rock the Block is designed to do,” says Jeff Potts, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Oshkosh.

“The program’s holistic approach to strengthening neighborhoods addresses not only affordable home improvements and public beautification, it also helps residents “age in place” and builds positive relationships. It’s all about neighbors helping neighbors,” says Pam Ruder, Executive Director of GO-HNI.

The Basic Needs Giving Partnership brings together charitable resources from the U.S. Venture Open Fund for Basic Needs within the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, the J. J. Keller Foundation and other partner donors to address root causes of poverty.

Rock the Blocks plans to kick off this fall and will need lots of volunteers and participation from neighborhood residents and the skilled-trades community. If you’d like to get involved, send an email to [email protected] or call 920-235-3535.

The Basic Needs Giving Partnership awarded other grants to:

Supporting Mental Health Needs of Youth -$12,400 for work to better understand Berlin-area youth mental health needs and service gaps in order to identify feasible strategies that could be implemented to ensure that all youth and their families have convenient access to case management and mental health services. Green Lake County has the highest suicide rate in the state and youth are facing greater barriers to mental health care than their peers in more urban communities. Collaborators are the Boys and Girls Club of the Tri-County Area, Catalpa Health, Berlin Area School District, and Green Lake County Health & Human Services.

Peer Recovery Support Services – $25,000 to support the organic growth, mobilization and training of Waushara County’s recovery community in developing and offering peer drug and alcohol addiction recovery support services. Peer recovery support services sustain long-term recovery and a path to financial self-sufficiency. Collaborators are Family Health La Clinica (La Clinica de los Campesinos, Inc.), Waushara County Health Department, Waushara County Department of Human Services, and the Healthy Communities/Healthy Youth Initiative of the Waushara Prevention Council.

State of the Child Deeper Dive – $13,400 to use a results based facilitation process to identify strategies for improving the state of the child in Winnebago County. Children in Winnebago County have more significant risk factors (living in poverty, single parent households, high adverse childhood event scores in adults, etc.) than children of Outagamie and Calumet Counties. Collaborators are Valley Packaging, Child Care Resource and Referral, Winnebago County Health Department, Winnebago County Department of Human Services, Partnership Community Health Center, UW Extension – Winnebago County, Family Services – Parent Connection, Fox Valley Early Childhood Coalition/Advancing Early Childhood for the Fox Valley Region, Oshkosh Area United Way, Oshkosh Head Start, and the Oshkosh Area School District.

JumpStart Auto Repair – $100,000 from the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation and $100,000 from the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region (over two years) to open its permanent location on Commercial Street in Neenah in order to provide opportunities for survivors of domestic abuse. This auto repair facility is designed especially for female customers and provides a warm, personal experience, honest answers about your vehicle and the knowledge you are making a difference. JumpStart services are available to the general public at full market rate and 25% of the profits from these services support low or no cost repairs to survivors of domestic abuse.

About Basic Needs Giving Partnership:

The Basic Needs Giving Partnership funds innovative solutions to address the root causes of poverty in northeast Wisconsin and is funded by the U.S. Venture Open, J. J. Keller Foundation and other partner donors.

The U.S. Venture Open is one of the nation’s single largest one-day charitable events with 1,100 participants representing more than 500 partners.

In 2017, the golf outing raised $3.96 million.  This year, the U.S. Venture Open welcomes the most decorated Olympian of all time – Michael Phelps, on August 8th.

Basic Needs Giving Partnership collaborators include: U.S. Venture, J.J. Keller Foundation, Community Foundation of the Fox Valley Region, Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, and Oshkosh Area Community Foundation.

Any questions or for more information, please contact Amy Putzer at [email protected]

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