HARTFORD, CT -- The Melville Charitable Trust is striving to be intentional about incorporating racial equity into its work. The Prison Policy Initiative found that people coming out of jail or prison are almost 10 times more likely to be homeless than the general public. We also know people of color are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system throughout the country. In Connecticut, African Americans are incarcerated at 9.4 times the rate of white Americans. Compounding that disparity is thesocietal stigma associated with people with criminal records which limits, and often prevents, their ability to obtain housing or employment.
This year, the Trust is repurposing the Employment & Education Opportunity Fund (EOF) to better support individuals coming out of incarceration. The Employment and Education Opportunity Fund (EOF) provides modest, highly flexible support to cover an individual’s essential education or employment related expenses. Small, but essential costs—a bus pass, books for a class, tools for an apprenticeship, child care for a parent in school, a decent suit for an interview—can make the difference between being able to prepare for and land a job or remain unemployed.
The EOF is different from most of the Melville Trust’s grantmaking, which is overwhelmingly focused on larger-scale systemic changes to end homelessness. We are grateful to the activists and providers who inspired this fund by explaining how difficult it is to find flexible dollars to meet the basic needs of their clients.
Application Guidelines: If you have any questions about the EOF application, please email Rebecca Allen firstname.lastname@example.org. Only agencies who meet the eligibility guidelines may apply. This year's application must be emailed to email@example.com no later than November 1, 2019. Grant announcements will be made by the end of December 2019.