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Hellman Foundation Announces 2015 Collaborative Grants Recipients

Monday, September 14, 2015

Following the Hellman Foundation submission requests we spoke of last March, the Foundation has picked the four recipients of its 2015 Collaborative Change Initiative.

The Hellman Collaborative Change Initiative was inspired by Warren Hellman, who relished tackling tough local challenges, particularly those that demanded risk-taking and persistence. His problem-solving approach brought colleagues, friends, adversaries, and total strangers to the table to grapple with thorny issues. Building on this legacy, the Hellman Foundation has created the Hellman Collaborative Change Initiative to bolster the work of collaborative ventures to reach ambitious goals.

Launched in 2014, the pilot of this Initiative is now in its second year. During 2015, the Foundation will provide support to a small number of collaborations in San Francisco and Alameda Counties to bolster their potential for game-changing impact. The Hellman Foundation will provide grants up to a total of $400,000 over two years to cross-sector collaborative groups working towards an ambitious goal and facing a discrete hurdle and/or timely opportunity.  

Following last year’s successful launch, the four collaborative awardees were selected from a pool of over 140 talented applicants from San Francisco and – for the first time – Alameda County. "That two East Bay initiatives were selected as the first Alameda County recipients of this generous grant speaks volumes about the caliber of their efforts to make Oakland a more thriving and equitable city," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. "I want to thank the Hellman Foundation for its generous support and congratulate everyone associated with these two outstanding community partnerships for the investment they are making in Oakland."

Awardee African American Postsecondary Pathway will prepare African American students in San Francisco public schools to graduate college-and-career-ready, enter the workforce and be part of the City’s growing prosperity. In response to President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper challenge, the San Francsico Unified School District brought together City, education, business, and non-profit leadership, and will oversee the creation of a cradle-to-career plan to provide targeted and coordinated support throughout each student’s educational journey, culminating in meaningful career opportunities.

Awardee Oakland Starting Smart & Strong Initiative seeks to ensure that all children in the Oakland Unified School District enter kindergarten ready to learn, regardless of race or family income. Using a research-based, whole-child approach, the multi-sector task force will focus on African American boys to address the racial and economic gaps in early childhood education. Results from the pilot will help educators counter the effects of low opportunity, attendance and trauma in early childhood and improve the lives of all young people.

Awardee Little 5 / Big 5 will work with families living in four of San Francisco’s public housing communities to break cycles of poverty and trauma across generations. The Department of Public Health will lead cross-sector teams to pilot a single, integrated case management plan that builds on the citywide housing and anti-poverty initiative known as HOPE SF. Through targeted, responsive interventions that put family at the center of care, the team will create aligned social, educational and economic opportunities for the families in this pilot.

Awardee Home Stretch, part of EveryOne Home’s effort to end homelessness in Alameda County by 2020, will create a streamlined path for homeless people to access Permanent Supportive Housing. The project will establish a single registry from which highly vulnerable, disabled homeless people will be connected to services and “fast tracked” to a permanent home. Home Stretch uses the “housing first” model, housing without any clinical pre-conditions, and intends to double the number of high need people being housed each month.