Great time for grant

Published 10:23 pm Monday, November 25, 2019

If you’re looking for the best way to end the cycles of homelessness and poverty, ensuring that families have someplace to live and that children in low-income communities have access to top-quality preschools is a good way to go about that.

Those are the focal points of the Bezos Day 1 Fund, started last year with a $2 billion commitment from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. One of the world’s richest individuals, Bezos has chosen to share some of his considerable wealth in an effective way — by providing opportunities to end these cycles.

The Bezos Day 1 Fund recently unveiled a raft of grants being made to organizations across the country — 32 of them in places as varied as Alaska, Boston, Northern Michigan, Hawaii and Central Florida.


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These grant recipients will be able to put the money to work on the ground in their local communities, where the impact will be multiplied by the local familiarity these organizations have.

The Hampton Roads area is blessed to receive $2.5 million from this fund through ForKids, a decades-old organization that helps end the cycle of homelessness for families here in the area.

According to ForKids External Relations Manager Becky Lyle Pinkard, $250,000 of the $2.5 million grant will go towards the campaign to fund construction of the new ForKids Center for Children and Families in the South Norfolk area of Chesapeake.

The remaining $2.25 million will be for expanded services between the ForKids Center in Chesapeake and the Birdsong Center for Families that opened in November 2018 in downtown Suffolk.

The funds will help increase the capacity of these two centers. This capacity-building effort will boost the ability of ForKids not just to get families into housing but also to provide wraparound services like job coaching, financial help and more for adults and their children.

We thank ForKids for its dedication to the families of the Hampton Roads area.