Human Service Grant Program in Sussex doles out $225,000

GEORGETOWN — Youth, low-income individuals and the elderly again serve as top-level beneficiaries of Sussex County’s Human Service Grant Program — a $225,000 initiative that will assist more than 80 nonprofits countywide.

At its meeting Tuesday, Sussex County Council unanimously approved the program for fiscal year 2021, as presented by Gina Jennings, the county’s finance director.

Gina Jennings

The mission of the program is to provide grants to countywide nonprofit agencies for the purpose of enhancing health and human services, which contribute to a safe, healthy and self-sufficient community.

Grants are awarded under a formula based in part on need and other financial support.

CHEER Inc.’s activity centers and several other senior centers each were granted $5,600, an increase of $100 from the previous year’s allocations.

Milton Community Food Pantry, Love INC. of Mid-Delmarva, YMCA of Delaware and La Red Health Center Inc. are receiving $4,200 each, while $3,100 is earmarked for Food Bank of Delaware’s Backpack Program for children.

Clothing Our Kids, a volunteer-based nonprofit that purchases clothing for at-risk children, will receive $3,450.

In the youth movement, Junior Achievement of Delaware Inc. is granted $3,850 and the six sites in the Boys & Girls Club of Delaware network — Dagsboro, Laurel, Oak Orchard/Riverdale, Georgetown, Rehoboth Beach and Seaford — each receive $2,000 under the allocations approved.

Funds also provide grants that assist organizations with resources in support of programs or capital purchases.

The Indian River Senior Center in Millsboro was granted its request for $5,500 for building improvements.

The county’s Finance Department reviewed the online applications submitted from 87 eligible organizations, whose cumulative requests totaled $599,000.

This year, there were eight new organizations that submitted requests, Ms. Jennings said.

In its application review, the Finance Department checks to ensure the applicant:
• Is a nonprofit.
• Is in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service.
• Has no past-due county obligations (no bills owed).
• The scope of the request fits within the grant program’s mission.

The $225,000 in grant funding — the exact amount that was allocated for fiscal year 2020 — will impact an estimated 134,000 Sussex County beneficiaries, which may include “double” recipients benefiting from more than one nonprofit, Ms. Jennings said.

Additionally, these grant recipients generate approximately $7 million in other types of support for these projects.

“What that is saying is Sussex County’s grant is about 3% of the total revenue that these organizations use for these projects,” said Ms. Jennings.
Youth programs and initiatives garner the largest slice of this program’s pie, at 34%, followed by projects for the elderly (20%), low-income residents (13%), homeless individuals (12%) and those with disabilities/special needs (10%).