DeKalb nonprofits receive city grants

DeKALB – The DeKalb City Council spread thousands of dollars among more than a dozen local nonprofits and other government agencies Monday.

For fiscal 2015 that starts July 1, the city will distribute $142,922 among local nonprofits and $140,000 to organizations that promote the area.

The funds were approved by aldermen during Monday’s meeting, and are included in the budget the council approved during the same meeting.

The Voluntary Action Center will receive $31,855, which Executive Director Tom Zucker said will support transportation and nutritional services for seniors and people with disabilities. Of the 3,000 seniors and people with disabilities the agency serves each year, about 1,700 are from DeKalb, Zucker said.

Although the money is a small portion of the agency’s annual $7.5 million budget, Zucker said the funding is critical.

“For every $1 of local funding, it allows us to leverage $3 in state grants,” Zucker said.

Among the other nonprofits to receive funding, Community Coordinated Childcare, for instance, will receive $20,529 that will be used as matching funds for state grants for child care subsidies for low-income people.

Hope Haven will receive $4,247 to provide emergency housing services for homeless people and families.

The city annually budgets $150,000 to distribute to local nonprofits, but because the American Red Cross did not apply for funds this year, the city has $7,078 left to distribute at a later time.

The council also awarded the DeKalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau $50,000 to promoting tourism in the city, while the DeKalb County Economic Development Corp. will receive $45,000 to promote economic development.

City Manager Anne Marie Gaura explained that the CVB and DCEDC clearly benefit DeKalb by drawing people – and their money – to the city, be it for leisure or work. She pointed to things such as the CVB’s annual Kite Festival and helping the city with a successful bid to host the IHSA State Football Championships.

“Look at Park 88,” Gaura said. “The DCEDC is consistently and constantly working on bringing economic development to the city.”

The DeKalb Chamber of Commerce will receive $45,000, the same amount it received last year when it took over event planning duties in downtown DeKalb from Re:New DeKalb.
The Chamber is responsible for downtown events such as the city's farmers' market in the summer, Spooktacular for Halloween and Hollydays in November and December.

Executive Director Matt Duffy said the money will pay for events and the event manager position created last year and hired Jessica Struthers to fill in September.

“All the events have gone pretty well,” Duffy said. “We’ve got a pretty good handle on things.”

Local funding

The following local organizations will receive grants from the city this year:

DeKalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau $50,000

DeKalb County Economic Development Corp. $45,000

DeKalb Chamber of Commerce $45,000

Ben Gordon Center $3,539

DCP/SAFE $2,214

KishHealth Systems Hospice $1,699

DeKalb County Youth Services Bureau $36,456

Elder Care Services $12,742

Family Services Agency $12,742

NGUZO SABA Men’s Club $5,663

Prairie State Legal Services $708

Safe Passage $10,618

Voluntary Action Center $31,855

Community Coordinated Childcare $20,529

Hope Haven $4,247

Source: City of DeKalb