Created in fall 2016, the Reasons for Hope MKE Fund grantmaking cycle supported community-based actions and activities designed to encourage social connections, promote peace and build community cohesion in Milwaukee neighborhoods. Listed below are the projects and programs that received funding in 2017.


First cycle 

Groundwork Milwaukee: $5,000 to support its Young Farmers Program, which focuses on literacy and healthy lifestyles and teaches youth gardening skills. 

Grace Fellowship: $5,000 to provide 30 youth with an opportunity to learn about a career in the aviation industry and be paired with a mentor through the Aviation Exposure Mentoring Program.

Milwaukee Police Department: $5,000 for its World Peace Celebration event in partnership with Sherman Park residents, stakeholders and Milwaukee County Parks. The two-day event promotes cross cultural engagement, positive police and community relations and building relationships among youth and adults. Planned activities include a movie night, breakfast in the park, back to school drive, cultural vendors and a job fair.

Near West Side Partners: $5,000 to support Vliet Street Gallery Night. The project will engage the economically and racially diverse community of the Near West Side, including Vliet Street Work Group, residents in adjacent neighborhoods of Martin Drive and Washington Park and Sanders Super Bowl.

PeppNation: $5,000 for its efforts to activate Sherman Park in 2017 through programming Monday through Saturday, 4 - 8 p.m. Planned activities include rugby, lacrosse, soccer, basketball, meditation and urban agriculture.

Milwaukee African Women’s Association: $4,900 in support of its Healthy Family Fair July 22. The event is designed to unite immigrant communities and promote friendship and peace through dialogue, sharing of stories and cultural food exchange.

Metcalfe Park Community Bridges: $4,200 for its Young Farmers Program, which works with youth ages 10 to 13 to participate in community cleanups and community garden rebuilds. Youth will be provided with a modest stipend for participating.

Neu-Life Community Development: $2,700 for its Pay It Forward Project, an intergenerational service project that will pair teens in Lindsay Heights and Amani neighborhoods with local homeowners to complete small home and yard improvement projects.

Express Yourself Milwaukee: $2,500 for its summer camp program, which provides intensive multi-artistic programming with a therapeutic underpinning to underserved urban youth.

Community First: $1,500 to support its contractor breakfast. The agency plays a role in helping unlicensed contractors from the neighborhoods they serve become licensed.

Northwest Side Community Development Corp: $1,300 for its resident-led Lincoln Park Peace Rally and Walk.

Layton Boulevard West Neighbors: $1,000 for its resident-led neighborhood kickball game and social event. The event will allow residents from Silver City, Burnham Park and Layton Park neighborhoods to come together to enjoy a friendly game of kickball while making important social connections.


Second cycle 

Center for Youth Engagement: $10,000 to support community patrols and outreach in target areas in Milwaukee. The project is a partnership between the Office of Violence Prevention and on-the-ground community groups.

A Cry for Help Foundation: $4,600 to help its efforts toward increasing awareness on human trafficking through a marketing campaign, door-to-door outreach and a crisis hotline.

Albright Methodist Church $4,600 to support the Capitol Heights Neighborhood Association’s Back to School Bash at Morris Marshall High School. The event will feature live jazz, free haircuts and school supplies for youth. The goal is to build intergenerational social connections with those who live in the area and give residents a sense of community in a safe and fun environment in their neighborhood.

Havenwoods Economic Development Corp: $4,600to support its work of celebrating the history and people of Havenwoods by partnering with with Ex Fabula to help residents discover, polish and share true, personal stories that celebrate the neighborhood’s history and current identity.

Ina Onilu Drum and Dance Ensemble: $4,600for a community event in Washington Park that will offer adults and children dance classes and an African dance performance for the community. In addition, community groups such as Planned Parenthood of Milwaukee, Cleanslate and Westcare will offer services and provide information for community members.

WestCare Wisconsin: $4,600 for its Peace Education Arts & Cultural Empowerment program in the Harambee neighborhood. Through partnership with a local artist, the program will teach basic graphic design, silkscreen printing and painting skills. Youth will produce T-shirts for sale as a way to generate income while learning about entrepreneurship. The program culminates with painting a mural to promote peace and community pride.

Positive Programs for the Family: $4,600 for the Woodlands Community Resource Center, community playground and celebration event. The project will provide a safe and secure playground for children to enjoy recreational activities.

Asset Builders of America: $4,500 for its efforts to conduct a Go4it Entrepreneurship Day camp onsite at one or more of the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee facilities for 30 youth and young adults ages 16-24. Participants will learn personal finance and entrepreneurship basics.

New Concept Self Development Center: $4,500 for its Parents and Children Partnering for Health project, which brings community residents together to address the problem of obesity. Fifty adult and youth will be paired and trained as peer educators on ways to incorporate exercise into their daily lives, how to shop and prepare nutritional meals, make healthy choices when dining out and maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. Upon completion of the training, the adult/youth peer educators will educate an additional 50 residents about ways to reduce obesity and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Grandesco Solutions: $4,327 to help 20 to 40 students realize their true value and purpose in life by exposing them to a multitude of professionals and local college tours. Students will visit more than 10 colleges, discuss the book "What is Your Parachute for Teens," and tour businesses to explore an array of postsecondary and career opportunities.

Dominican Center for Women: $4,000 for Techie Youth Camp, a program that will teach high school students how to code program apps, video games and create websites. As a way to build community, the program will include youth from different schools and neighborhood blocks.

Sherman Park Community Association: $3,907 for the Grasslyn Manor Block Watch, a group of 10 block watches that will seek to reduce the number of car accidents in the Sherman Park and Dineen Park neighborhoods by organizing around this issue with other residents, churches and local government officials.

30th Street Corridor: $3,000 for the resident-led Century City Tri-Angle Neighborhood Association’s efforts to use public art projects to teach and inform residents about environmental stewardship, maintaining a safe, orderly and clean neighborhood and protecting the precious resource of water. Projects may include street painting, creating tiles for neighborhood rain gardens and creating flower pots to deliver to homes of older adults to create neighborhood curb appeal.

Havenwoods Economic Development Corp: $950 for the resident-led Hampton Heights Community group’s Women Inspiring Women event. Participants will hear about business and personal stories of triumph and success from a group of their peers in a supportive environment. 

Learn More

dunn-web.pngContact Kathryn Dunn to learn more about our grantmaking strategies.