In that time, Blank, other civic leaders, companies and community organizations have committed tens of millions of dollars to such areas as workforce, housing and health care efforts for neighborhoods near the stadium. The city and civic organizations also created the nonprofit Westside Future Fund (WFF) to fund and convene organizations to coordinate efforts.
New parks and the Beltline’s Westside trail have opened nearby in recent years. But the public and private investments have also spurred real estate speculation that’s driven up property values and rents, squeezing existing residents.
The Blank Foundation is giving WFF the largest grant of any of the six organizations — $10 million — to support its latest fundraising push to build hundreds of affordable housing units. The nonprofit has set a working target to have $50 million to $55 million in philanthropic and public grants committed by the end of 2024. The Blank Foundation grant will specifically go to affordable housing projects in English Avenue and Vine City.
The other Westside beneficiaries are CareerRise, for their program that helps provide workforce training and job opportunities to residents in Vine City and English Avenue, and the Georgia Resilience and Opportunity Fund, for an initiative to give 200 women in those neighborhoods a guaranteed income for three years. Each organization received $6.2 million.
The foundation also gave three grants to projects not related to Atlanta’s westside. The Capital Good Fund received a $1 million grant for a pilot project focused on helping low- and moderate-income Georgians lower the cost of rooftop solar for their homes. And two Montana-based organizations received a total of $775,000 for youth and workforce development programs.
Last November, the Blank Foundation announced some $2.4 million in grants to organizations on the city’s Westside, including funding to build new affordable homes, provide legal assistance to renters and support for home ownership and workforce development programs.
In January, the foundation gave five grants to Georgia-based mental health organizations.
- Staff writer Kelly Yamanouchi contributed to this report
The Arthur M. Blank Foundation’s September Grants
- Westside Future Fund (WFF): $10 million
- CareerRise: $6.2 million
- Georgia Resilience and Opportunity Fund: $6.2 million
- Capital Good Fund: $1 million
- Accelerate Montana: $400,000
- Reach Higher Montana: $375,000
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