Community Assistance Grant Funding allows Beverly Hills to extend its social safety net to vulnerable individuals whose needs aren’t met by the city’s existing services and the Jan. 24 deadline to apply for this year’s fund is approaching.
During the last funding cycle 27 different local and regional non-profit organizations were given grants and the city anticipates receiving even more applicants this year.
“The Community Assistance Grant Funding is our city’s way of giving back to our community, especially those in the most need,” Human Relations Commission Chair Noelle Freeman told the Courier.
“Although we focus on organizations that help our most vulnerable population including homeless individuals, active and frail elderly, disabled and low-means residents, we’re also looking to help organizations that provide a cultural and artistic benefit to our community,” she added.
Every year money from the city’s general fund is allocated to CAGF and distributed by the Human Services Division with guidance from the Charitable Solicitations Commission and the Human Resources Commission. The application for this year’s funding is available at www.beverlyhills.org/cagf.
The goal of the CAGF is to create a seamless continuum of care from city services to services offered by partner organizations and improve the overall quality of life in Beverly Hills.
For example, an unhoused individual may come into initial contact with the city through the Beverly Hills Outreach or Ambassador teams, which can then provide referrals to CAGF community partners such as PATH for shelter, Saban Community Clinic for healthcare, All Saints’ Episcopal Church for food and Step Up on Second for mental health services.
City staff from departments including fire, police, library, public works and parking enforcement can also make referrals to partner organizations.
This system also helps elderly residents access resources. A need may first be noticed or communicated to city staff or outreach teams, who can then provide referrals to partners like Jewish Family Services for case management, Affordable Living for the Aging for income assistance, Maple Counseling Center for mental health care and BH Active Adult Club for a social and creative outlet.
“We typically have over 30 qualifying applications and we anticipate even more this year,” Freeman told the Courier. “For FY 2022-23, we received $2,484,009 in community funding requests, more than $550K above the last year’s base budget (FY 2021-22) of $1,922,499.”
There are several criteria used to consider applications.
The two most important criteria are that the organization: 1. provides a unique service that addresses an unmet community need and 2. does not rely solely on CAGF to remain viable and the services they offer would cost more to the city if the city provided them directly.
In addition, the city seeks organizations that support its commitment to providing a social service safety net and organizations that enable the city to meet its regional obligation to ameliorate social issues.
Cultural organizations applying for CAGF must meet the first two essential criteria and demonstrate a history of exemplary cultural opportunities in line with community needs.
Cultural community partners selected in the last funding cycle include the Beverly Hills Theatre Guild, Writers Bloc, Theatre 40, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and West Coast Jewish Theatre.
Applications include a questionnaire designed to assess how well the organization meets the qualifying criteria, documentation of 501c.3 status or proof of 501c.3 status through partnership, a copy of the organization’s most recent Form 990 and a copy of any current Charitable Solicitations Permits from the city.
Applications must be postmarked no later than Jan. 23 by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or submitted to the City of Beverly Hills, Human Services Division, 444 N. Rexford Drive, 2nd Floor Library Admin, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 by 5 p.m.