Baltimore, MD – October 11, 2018 – The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. has awarded St. Francis Neighborhood Center (SFNC) with a $1.2 million grant to fund the Count on Me Capital Campaign to renovate and expand the Center. This historic project will add additional classrooms, an art studio, a kitchen/cafe, multipurpose space, a larger, innovative media lab and library. SFNC will increase enrollment by 100 percent for K-12 students and families living in Reservoir Hill and Penn North communities.
The funding will support SFNC’s strategic plan to increase programs and services to serve more than triple the current number of students and families. Thus, reducing the Center’s extensive three-year wait list, the Center will serve more students in need. The new classrooms, with access to innovative technology and the modern facilities, will be more conducive to learning by equipping youth in West Baltimore with the technology skills needed to prosper in the digital economy.
“When students are given the opportunities and support to realize their full potential, our Baltimore families, neighborhoods, and entire community benefit,” says Aaron Merki, Weinberg Foundation Managing Director, Programs and Grants. “We are pleased to work with SFNC on this initiative to connect more youth and families with the skills, confidence, and encouragement they need to succeed.”
SFNC currently operates in a 125-year old home in need of repair, renovation and expansion to meet the needs of children, youth and families living in west Baltimore. The Center’s programs are driven by the community for over 55 years. Children living below poverty levels receive academic and art enrichment, homework and tutoring support, STEM, character development, service learning, life skills workshops, and mentoring. The Center also provides family strengthening, school engagement, career/college initiatives, and community investment components to bolster a support network for participants.
“Our mission is to end generational poverty through our award-winning programs,” says Christi Green, SFNC executive director. The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation are key partners needed to lead a transformative path for vulnerable families and youth. Their investment is integral to increasing the number of young boys and girls who see a brighter future for themselves and their families.”
SFNC’s has raised just over $3.4 million towards the Count on Me Campaign of $4 million. The grant was written in collaboration with the Center’s Developer, nonprofit Episcopal Housing Corporation.