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December 21, 2010

Contact: Carol D. Rugg, 810.238.5651,

C.S. Mott Foundation grants $662,000 to support local safety-net services

FLINT, MICH. – For the second year in a row, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has made a series of special, year-end grants to help its home community of Genesee County address local needs for food, housing and utility assistance, and other safety-net services. The nine grants, totaling $662,000, will be made to:

Genesee County, like many communities across the U.S., faces a number of economic challenges. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the county’s unemployment rate stands at 13.7 percent, compared to 9.8 percent nationally. Within the City of Flint, 25 percent of residents are unemployed and, according to the 2007 U.S. Census, approximately 35 percent live at or below federal poverty levels.

“In this difficult economic climate, people are struggling to keep their families fed, sheltered and safe,” said William S. White, Mott Foundation president. “These grants cannot bring a permanent end to those challenges in Flint and Genesee County, but they will help to lift some of the financial and emotional burden for many local families, and offer them a measure of stability in the months ahead.”

All eight organizations have received Mott support in the past, and four – Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties; the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan; The Salvation Army of Genesee County; and Shelter of Flint, Inc. – received emergency year-end grants in 2009.

The new round of grants comes at a time when many local nonprofits are facing both growing need and limited resources. Chris Hamilton, executive director of the Old Newsboys of Flint, notes that Mott support will allow that organization to provide coats or boots to roughly 2,200 area children, more than doubling the number served last year.

“The need in Flint and Genesee County is greater than ever at this time,” Hamilton said. “The Mott Foundation grant is a lifeline for our program this year and we’re grateful to be able to help more kids than ever before."

Some of the new grants will help sustain year-round programs, such as the St. Christopher Children’s Transportation program offered by Catholic Outreach of Flint. Mott support will help ensure that seriously ill youngsters get the medical treatment they need in the coming months, says Gregg Berent, the organization’s director.

“Because of a lack of funding, we recently considered the possibility of discontinuing some of the transport services altogether,” he said. “This grant means that, throughout 2011, the program will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help area children get the medical attention they so desperately need.”

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