Sheltering Arms Foundation awards grants for vulnerable children

Updated: September 6, 2017 - 9:43 am

A Minneapolis-based foundation has awarded more than $450,000 to nonprofits across Minnesota that provide programming to vulnerable children and their families.

The Sheltering Arms Foundation announced the grants for 38 nonprofits on Aug. 24. The funds will go toward direct-service programs in early-childhood and out-of-school-time development and to statewide advocacy campaigns designed to improve policies that impact children.

Many of the grantees are focusing on social-emotional learning as a key method for closing the achievement gap, according to a spokeswoman. A number are tailored to help children who have experienced trauma build resilience to succeed in school.

Sheltering Arms Executive Director Denise Mayotte said the foundation feels that social-emotional learning is equally as important for children as the academic skills they develop in school.

“If a child gets a good grounding in social and emotional skills they’re much more likely to be successful in school and in life,” Mayotte said.

In a press release, Sheltering Arms highlighted the work of the downtown Minneapolis homeless shelter People Serving People, a grantee this year, for its trauma-informed services. People Serving People opened a new center this past spring in the Phillips neighborhood that will provide community meeting spaces for trauma-informed training and education.

Sheltering Arms’ funding for People Serving People will support training, curriculum development and assessments developed with the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development.

In a statement, People Serving People CEO Daniel Gumnit said the funding would help ensure the shelter’s youngest kids have the support and stability they need to thrive.

“To be able to have the mental health supports as well as the high quality child care is really a great thing,” Mayotte added.

The Sheltering Arms Foundation awards grants each year to nonprofits and to support policies that benefit children and their families. The foundation has awarded more than 1,150 grants totaling over $15.2 million since its inception in 1983.

The foundation was started in the late 1800s as a home for homeless and abandoned kids.

The next deadline for grant applications is January 2018. Visit sheltering-arms.org for more information.