Charles Stewart Mott Foundation awards $600,000 to assist area residents with basic needs

Funding will help agencies provide Genesee County residents with food, shelter and other services

Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties
Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties in Flint, Michigan. Photo: Rick Smith

Flint, Michigan — Amid falling income in many area households and significant community need being reported by local agencies, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation today announced a special package of six grants totaling $600,000 to help Genesee County residents facing hard times this winter.

“We know many people are struggling to stay warm, have enough food and keep a roof over their heads,” said Ridgway White, Mott Foundation president. “While this funding can’t permanently solve such difficult problems, it can provide residents with some stability, security and peace of mind during the most challenging months.”

The following agencies are receiving grants:

  • Carriage Town Ministries: $67,000 to provide nutritious meals to homeless individuals and families, and those at risk of becoming homeless.
  • Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties: $320,000 to enable the North End Soup Kitchen to provide food, including a hot evening meal, to people in need; to fund a 24-four hour warming center near downtown Flint; and to support the agency’s St. Christopher Medical Transport program.
  • The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan: $20,000 to help with the distribution of approximately 125,000 diapers.
  • Old Newsboys of Flint, Inc.: $25,500 to provide children from low-income families with holiday gifts of warm clothing; a toy or game; and dental hygiene products, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste.
  • The Salvation Army of Genesee County: $100,000 to assist county residents with rent and utility payments that will enable them to remain in their homes.
  • Shelter of Flint, Inc.: $67,500 to support programs that assist and provide shelter to homeless women and families.

The grants come at a time when many residents have fewer available resources to meet their fundamental needs. Census Bureau data show that median household income in Flint fell from $31,321 in 2009 to $24,679 in 2014, a 21% decrease. Countywide, the median household income slipped 3% during that same time period, from $43,036 to $41,682. The increasing toll on the community is evident, with 21% — or more than a fifth — of county residents living at or below federal poverty levels in 2014, compared with approximately 14% in 2010.

The new grants are going to agencies that have received Mott support in the past, and they include funding to help sustain year-round services, such as the North End Soup Kitchen. Open daily, the program served approximately 187,000 meals, including lunches and hot dinners, to area residents in 2014.

Vicky Schultz is president and CEO at Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties, which operates the soup kitchen. She says the organization continues to receive a high number of requests for help, including from people who have not previously sought its services.

“We are so thankful for the continued support of the Mott Foundation,” said Schultz. “By helping us to meet the ever-growing need for our services, the Foundation is helping to change lives and strengthen our community.”

Ensuring that every child in Genesee County has the chance to enjoy a healthy and happy holiday season is the goal of the Old Newsboys of Flint. A Mott grant will help the organization provide more than 600 of the area’s youngest residents with boots, hats and other warm clothing, as well as dental care products and age-appropriate gifts.

“By demonstrating a belief in our organization and the work we’re doing, I believe this funding encourages others to also give,” said Christopher Hamilton, executive director at Old Newsboys. “It’s that community-wide investment, sparked by the Mott Foundation, which will allow us to reach so many of the children in Genesee County who desperately need our help.”

The Mott Foundation’s ongoing support for its home community is reflected in the more than $859 million — equivalent to nearly $2.2 billion today, adjusted for inflation — it has invested in the greater Flint area since 1928, including nearly $41 million in 2014 alone. In addition to emergency and supportive services, Mott’s grantmaking in Flint has included funding for educational and cultural programs; economic and downtown development; job training; and public health and safety.


  • Mary Stevenson, Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties
  • P: 248-425-4658
  • Kara-Lyn Ross, Food Bank of Eastern Michigan
  • P: 810-396-0213
  • Christopher Hamilton, Old Newsboys of Flint, Inc.
  • P: 810-744-1840
  • Joy Martinbianco, Salvation Army of Genesee County
  • P: 810-516-7840