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Mental Health Association Receives Reinvestment Grant from Social Venture Partners Santa Barbara

The organization is awarded $40,000, the second installment of a 2010 grant

Social Venture Partners Santa Barbara has announced the Mental Health Association in Santa Barbara County as one of its 2011 SVPSB re-investees.

This marks the second installment of a grant award created by Social Venture Partners Santa Barbara in 2010 to combat homelessness in Santa Barbara. The grant was created to fund unique and high-impact new initiatives in organizations that seek to create long-term positive social change in the community.

Social Venture Partners Santa Barbara recently awarded the Mental Health Association a grant of $40,000 for 2011. In 2010, MHA received a grant of $25,000 from SVPSB as the first part of its investment in the organization.

In its continued efforts to identify critical community needs, SVPSB selected homelessness and the lack of transitional and low-income housing as the focus for its 2010 and 2011 giving cycles. Through grant-making and leveraging its intellectual capital, SVPSB seek sustainable permanent solutions with visible outcomes that provide measurable change and betterment that lasts and transforms the organizations it invests in.

“Social Venture Partners Santa Barbara chose to back organizations that can truly make a difference and are model programs to emulate,” said Joan Young, executive director of SVPSB. “The Mental Health Association/SVPSB partnership is a strong one, and we look forward to progress in our second year.”

The Mental Health Association provides supportive, affordable housing at three Santa Barbara locations, including its new building on Garden Street, which provides 51 apartment units designated for people living with mental illness and low-income downtown workers.

“The first grant we received from the Partners allowed us continue our important work in the community during difficult economic times, to provide services for community members affected by mental illness, one of the most prevalent root causes of homelessness,” said Annmarie Cameron, executive director of the Mental Health Association. “As we look forward to increasing our positive impact for the long term, we are extremely grateful for the unique support the Partners provide us with.”

The SVPSB funds and expertise are being used to implement a business plan which diversifies the Mental Health Association’s funding sources, offers expanded employment services to adults living with a mental health disorder and to coordinate more effectively with other homeless and mental health organizations.

SVPSB has added a new area of focus — green energy and the environment — for its 2011 investments. Organizations receiving first time grants are the Community Environmental Council and Art From Scrap.

— Kelly Kapaun is a publicist representing the Mental Health Association in Santa Barbara County.

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