Forty-two Anne Arundel area nonprofits received grants following the release of a 2022 report identifying county residents’ most immediate needs.
Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman presented each nonprofit with a check for between $10,000 and $50,000 at Maryland Hall Tuesday morning. A total of $1 million in American Rescue Plan funding was distributed to the nonprofits that do work in areas ranging from arts to health care and food distribution to addiction recovery. A Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County grants selection committee chose the winners.
“We do have real needs in this county. When our economy does well, it doesn’t mean everybody does well and, in fact, a lot of people got left behind,” Pittman said. “The nonprofit sector, I think we realized that y’all stepped up during COVID.”
The nonprofits presented with grants were: Annapolis Area Imagination Library; Annapolis Film Festival Inc.; Annapolis Immigration Justice Network; Wellness House of Annapolis; Anne Arundel County Food Bank; Anne Arundel County Literacy Council; The Arc of Central Chesapeake Region; Arundel House of Hope; Bemorecaring, Inc.; Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis & Anne Arundel County; Blue Ribbon Project; CASA of Anne Arundel County; Charting Careers, Inc.; Chase Brexton Health Services, Inc.; Chesapeake Arts Center; Community Action Agency of Anne Arundel; Crofton Christian Caring Council; Fuel Fund of Maryland; Heart Health Foundation; HOPE For All; Junior League of Annapolis; Kingdom Kare, Inc.; Langton Green, Inc.; Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services; Marshall Hope Corporation; Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts; Maryland Reentry Resource Center; MedStar Harbor Hospital; My Life Foundation Inc.; National Alliance on Mental Illness Anne Arundel County; Organization of Hispanics / Latin Americans of Anne Arundel County; Opportunities Industrial Center of Anne Arundel County, Inc.; Opportunity Builders, Inc.; Owensville Primary Care; Partners In Care Maryland; Prince George’s Child Resource Center; Seeds 4 Success, Inc.; Serenity Sistas Inc.; Start The Adventure In Reading (STAIR) — Annapolis, Inc..; The Complete Player Charity; The Light House Homeless Prevention Center; and Vehicles for Change.
The Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County’s 2022 community needs assessment noted a few key findings. The county’s population of nearly 590,000 people is becoming rapidly more diverse. Since 2010, the Hispanic population has grown by 48.6% and now makes up about 9.7% of the county, the fourth largest among Maryland counties. The Black population increased by 25.3%. The assessment noted that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the county while suicide is the ninth highest.
The survey found ZIP codes in Annapolis, Glen Burnie, Meade/Severn, Brooklyn Park and Lothian had some of the poorest social and health indicators in the county.
Many of the nonprofits awarded these grants work with the Hispanic and Black communities, including OHLA (Organization of Hispanics/Latin Americans of Anne Arundel County), which provides services to the county’s Hispanic and Latin American communities and Annapolis Immigration Justice Network, which connect immigrants with legal services.
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Other nonprofits work with communities with lower life expectancies, food deserts and childcare deserts. Anne Arundel County Food Bank helps those who are food insecure. The Light House Homeless Prevention Center and Arundel House of Hope work with homeless residents and Serenity Sistas Inc., does addiction recovery work.
“We’re confident that we are really covering the breadth and depth of needs in the county geographically, all sorts of ages and different populations,” said Rosalind Calvin, manager of grants and scholarships at Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County. “We are optimistic to work with you [nonprofits] and see the impact of all the hard work you’re doing.”
Since 2020, The Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County has distributed 327 grants totaling almost $2.8 millionto 150 nonprofits to meet needs in the county created or exacerbated by the pandemic.
“We know that this funding is essential to our local nonprofits so they can, in turn, provide more comprehensive services and programs and be in a better place to serve our community,” said Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County President and CEO Mary Spencer.
The report also indicates the pandemic led to deteriorating mental health and a shortage of mental health professionals. Calls to the county’s mental health warmline increased more than 30% since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the report. The National Alliance on Mental Illness Anne Arundel County, which offers services for those suffering from mental illnesses, was awarded a grant to continue its work.
“I think the best part of my week often is when I get to go visit some of you and see the work that you do,” Pittman said to representatives from the nonprofits. “I’m not going to say anything about any of the organizations because I don’t play favorites ... but I do have some favorites. I’ll keep that to myself.”
Awardees must use their grant money by Dec. 31.