LAFAYETTE, La. - Catholic Charities of Acadiana, a faith-based social services organization based in Lafayette announced Wednesday that it has been selected to receive a $5 million grant from the Day 1 Families Fund. Launched in 2018 by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families.
"We are sincerely thankful for this investment in our community, at this critical time when a growing number of families are facing homelessness in Acadiana as a result of COVID-19, Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta," said Kim Boudreaux, CEO of Catholic Charities of Acadiana. "The current level of homelessness in Acadiana is the highest it's been in our nearly 50 years of serving the community. Our goal is that homelessness is rare, brief and non-recurring. This grant will bolster our ability to compassionately respond to families in crisis."
This one-time grant, awarded to organizations doing meaningful work to connect families with shelter and support, will allow Catholic Charities of Acadiana to invest in diversion services, working to reconnect families with their natural support systems and helping them avoid the traumatic experience of homelessness. Funds will also be used to redesign and expand the organization's family homeless shelter to allow for private sleeping arrangements. They will also implement a rehousing program that transitions families experiencing homelessness into permanent housing.
Catholic Charities of Acadiana is one of 42 nonprofits across the U.S. to receive the third annual Day 1 Families Fund grants, as part of a continuing commitment by the Day 1 Families Fund to help end homelessness for families. The Day 1 Families Fund issued a total of $105.9 million in grants this year. To select these organizations, the fund worked with an advisory board of homelessness advocates and leaders whose expertise spans housing justice, racial equity, direct services, homelessness policy, equity for Native American communities and anti-poverty work.
The Bezos Day One Fund was launched in 2018 with a commitment of $2 billion and a focus on two areas: funding existing nonprofits that help homeless families, and creating a network of new, non-profit tier-one preschools in low-income communities. The Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families. The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary's Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside. For more information, visit www.BezosDayOneFund.org/Day1FamiliesFund.
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