2020 Community Grants Recipients

Community Grants is the Foundation’s signature program through which we honor more than 100 donors who created permanent funds, entrusting us to support issues that mattered to them and are most pressing for the community. The grants provide support to local organizations whose initiatives improve quality of life in three areas:Opportunity– ensuring all residents have equitable access to the same opportunities,Creativity– supporting arts and culture offerings that create community, and Resiliency– making sure Miami-Dade can bounce back from challenges and is an increasingly connected place to live. 


We want to thank our past president, Javier Alberto Soto, for making the Inclusion of People with Diverse Abilities a new and permanent funding category. We would also like to thank our donor Jo Watkins for her additional contribution to make that category possible. This year,  The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation generously matched funds to support Creativity grants. Read more about the new Javier A. Soto Community Fund for Inclusion of Diverse Abilities. 


Explore the links below and learn more about the 2020 grantees.

Opportunity – $985,000


Well-Being of Children & Youth – $555,000


Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts ($20,000) 

To support the expansion of AileyCamp Miami, a free six-week summer camp and award-winning creative youth development program that uses the power of dance as a conduit for personal growth, increasing opportunities for more Miami middle-school students to become independent, fearless, resilient and caring global citizens 


Arts for Learning Miami ($18,000) 

To systemically scale the use of the arts across all 348 Miami-Dade Head Start Centers to support the social-emotional growth of Miami’s most vulnerable 3-5-year-olds and empower Head Start teachers to use the arts to help their learners reach key milestones 


Boys and Girls Club of Miami-Dade ($15,000) 

To support the Project Learn program to serve over 525 youth throughout four sites, to include help with reading, tutoring, computer access for online homework assignments, physical fitness activities, health nutrition education, and arts and crafts to foster creativity and art exploration 


Branches ($25,000) 

To support the Climb to College & Career program, which helps students develop the knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary for postsecondary success and to access and successfully complete post-secondary education by providing academic coaching, college prep, and mentoring for students and parents and caregivers 


Breakthrough Miami ($20,000) 

To design and launch the Scholar Success Plan initiative for 7thgrade Scholars, embedding a student-centered approach to academic planning to empower students to create and track their pathway toward successful transition to 9th grade and beyond, fully maximizing their abilities, interests, talents and aspirations 


Catholic Charities Legal Services ($20,000) 

To provide legal assistance to separated families and fast-tracked family unit docket crises, which have disproportionately affected Florida and created extremely vulnerable family units in need of representation in removal proceedings 


Chapman Partnership ($15,000)

To support the Youth-Young Adult Career Academy, an internship program that empowers youth experiencing homelessness through work-based learning at Chapman’s two Homeless Assistance Centers, combining soft and hard job skills training with paid work experience that helps them acquire the skills needed to improve their lives through career mobility 


City Year Miami ($18,000) 

To support a proven youth development approach in high-poverty schools that accelerates social-emotional development and academic achievement for at-risk youth, while delivering a continuum of comprehensive supports from third through ninth grade to help students graduate prepared for success 


Cuban American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Project ($20,000) 

To expand the CABA Immigrant Children’s Program, which provides legal representation to obtain legal status for immigrant children who have been abused, abandoned and/or neglected by one or both parents 


Dibia DREAM ($15,000) 

To support DREAM Academy, a STEM and sports-based afterschool youth development program with a culturally competent curriculum that provides homework assistance, develops positive behaviors, and drives improved student outcomes in reading, writing, math, science, health and art 


Educate Tomorrow ($18,000) 

To support youth development programs such as college coaching for students in foster care or experiencing homelessness in Miami-Dade County 


Family Resource Center of South Florida ($10,000) 

To support infants and toddlers who have been placed in foster care due to neglect or abuse with Child-Parent Psychotherapy, an evidence-based attachment therapy proven to be effective in helping trauma-attachment disordered children heal and develop healthy, trusting and secure relationships with their caregivers 


Genesis Hopeful Haven ($18,000) 

To support an evidence-based model to equip youth aging out of foster care with life skills, social capital and general well-being, thus enabling them to lead successful lives 


Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida ($18,000) 

To support the Community Troops program, bringing Girl Scout Leadership Experience to girls in low-income and underserved neighborhoods in Miami-Dade County 


Haitian Neighborhood Center Sant La ($23,000) 

To support alignment of two collective impact initiatives in partnership with the University of Miami, to help increase access to quality early learning programs for parents and caregivers living in Miami’s northeast corridor 


ICU Baby ($10,000) 

To support the Transportation Assistance Program, offering financial stipends to offset transportation costs to and from the NICU for low-income families whose ability to visit their babies is limited because of financial hardship 


KIPP Miami ($20,000) 

To support field trips for KIPP Miami students in order to enrich and expand learning, increase knowledge of a particular subject area and to expand broader awareness of the community 


Kristi House ($18,000)

To support Project GOLD and the Bridges to the Future initiative, a trauma-informed, survivor-focused program helping sexually exploited and trafficked girls find pathways to careers through educational, vocational and community supports 


Miami Diaper Bank ($20,000) 

To support the core diaper distribution program, with a focus on Miami-Dade County-based direct service partners who provide relief to local children and families in need 


Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired ($10,000) 

To build capacity to provide free eye exams with dilation and glasses through the Florida Heiken Children’s Vision Program to help improve the quality of life and school performance of thousands of Miami-Dade County children 


NAMI Miami-Dade County ($20,000) 

To expand the Ending the Silence program and pilot the Ending The Silence module for parents and caregivers of youth experiencing mental health challenges 


Overtown Youth Center ($20,000)

To support the Inspire, Engage, Employ College and Career Readiness program, providing year-round direct program services to youth to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to make a successful transition to post-secondary education and the workforce  


P.S. 305 ($20,000) 

To provide intentional, targeted grassroots organizing to combat systemic injustices in Miami-­Dade County’s education system 


PACE Center for Girls ($20,000) 

To advance and strengthen the Pace Miami Growth & Change system, based in a trauma-informed and gender-responsive approach 


Reading & Math ($11,000) 

To support the deployment of trained AmeriCorps members to provide evidence-based literacy interventions to children in Miami-Dade County Public Schools 


Redlands Christian Migrant Association ($20,000) 

To equip 200 RCMA child development teachers and support staff in Homestead and Florida City with health and mental wellness materials and strategies to use both in classrooms as well as for themselves personally 


Teach For America Miami-Dade ($15,000) 

To support Teach For America Miami-Dade’s teachers with digital resources to support key outcomes and provide training for additional staff 


The SEED School of Miami ($20,000) 

To support the college-completion model, exposing students to an expanse of extracurricular activities and opportunities to grow and learn beyond the traditional classroom  


Thomas Armour Youth Ballet ($15,000)

To deliver mental health services to children suffering from chronic trauma at the Thomas Armour Youth Ballet afterschool and summer program in West Perrine 


Urgent, Inc. ($18,000) 

To build solutions to strengthen and grow local talent in underserved communities by tackling youth unemployment and by expanding access to workforce preparation 


Year Up South Florida ($20,000) 

To promote security and stability for students in the Year Up program by providing wraparound support to help with expenses related to textbooks and materials, health care, transportation, childcare, food, clothing and housing 


Inclusion of People with Diverse Abilities – $130,000


Community Habilitation Center (The WOW Center) ($15,000) 

To make Miami a more inclusive community for all through the Community Based Education program, which embeds WOW participants into the community and creates advocates for the disabilities community  


DMF Employment Opportunities Inc. ($30,000) 

To support the Employment Initiative Project, which creates a bridge between young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and Employer Partners to establish a long-term strategic alliance to increase job retention and maintain employment  


Florida Association for Infant Mental Health, Inc. ($22,500) 

To expand professional training opportunities for those who serve the early childhood population (birth to 5) in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, Social Emotional Development and Adverse Childhood Experiences to increase early identification and access to quality services  


Parent to Parent of Miami, Inc. ($20,000) 

To support the Caregivers Legacy Pilot Project, which will guide eligible caregivers of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to prepare a transition process and care plan for when new guardianship is necessary  


The Key Clubhouse of South Florida ($20,000)

To expand the clubhouse’s employment program for adults living with serious mental illness in Miami-Dade County  


Venture Café MIA, Inc. ($22,500) 

To partner with the Enable Project to host a training series for VCM’s participants to create more inclusive, accessible working environments and programs that incorporate the needs and interests of people with disabilities  

Affordability & Housing – $200,000


Bridge to Hope (Cornerstone Christian Center of Homestead, FL Inc.) ($30,000) 

To reduce risk of hunger, poor nutrition, and homelessness while improving long-term health, well-being, and economic outcomes for under-served residents in Miami-Dade County  


Camillus House, Inc. ($15,000) 

To support Project Phoenix, which offers housing and comprehensive supportive services for survivors of human trafficking who are homeless  


Grameen America Inc. ($20,000) 

To support Grameen America’s Miami branch in its third year, providing critical financial products, innovative financial technologies, and economic opportunity to Miami’s low-income women entrepreneurs  


International Rescue Committee in Miami ($15,000)

To secure safe and affordable housing for particularly vulnerable survivors of human trafficking  


Ladies Empowerment and Action Program, Inc. (LEAP) ($25,000) 

To support LEAP’s post-release re-entry program for women transitioning from prison, which includes transitional housing, case management and paid work experience  


Miami Homes For All ($15,000) 

To support MHFA’s work to create and preserve a large amount of affordable homes in Miami-Dade County by educating the public and local candidates on priority solutions and advocating for implementation  


Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation, Inc. ($25,000) 

To support the TechHire Initiative, a 12-week course that will introduce residents of affordable housing units to the field of information technology and prepare them for entry-level IT employment  


Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade, Inc. ($25,000) 

To rebuild homes owned by low-income, vulnerable families that were damaged by Hurricane Irma  


Refugee Assistance Alliance, Inc. ($12,500)

To assist refugees living in Miami-Dade County to access housing, education, health care and transportation in order to become economically independent   


The Capital Good Fund ($17,500)

To support affordable finance products that help Miami households secure safe housing, save money, build credit, and avoid predatory debt  


Healthy Lifestyles – $100,000


Camillus Health Concern, Inc. ($25,000)

To support a Chronic Disease Care Manager to plan and provide health education and counseling services for people who are homeless and living with complex chronic conditions  


Farmworker Association of Florida, Inc. ($25,000) 

To support a program empowering local farmworker families to invest traditional cultural knowledge and personal experience while gaining new skills in sustainable agriculture and herbal remedies to provide healthy lifestyle options for their community  


Health in the Hood ($25,000) 

To support food security programs for vulnerable households, including emergency relief program Filling Fridges that will distribute fresh produce and prepared meals  


The Education Fund, Inc. ($25,000) 

To support the Food Forests program that is transforming how Miami-Dade County Public Schools students develop healthy habits through canopied eco-labs on school grounds that teach nutrition and sciences, grow superfoods for school and home meals, and engage families in healthy eating  


Resiliency – $200,000

Catalyst Miami ($30,000) 

To expand neighborhood-tailored civic engagement programming, including the Community Leadership on the Environment, Advocacy and Resilience (CLEAR) and Housing, Equity, Advocacy & Leadership (HEAL) trainings to actively engage residents in systems reform through collective policy development, network-building and public service  


Engage Miami Civic Foundation ($20,000)

To develop and disseminate the Civics305 Guide, an interactive reference book and digital platform for everyone in Miami-Dade County to learn about local civic systems and be empowered to use those systems for effective civic engagement  


Miami Dade Transit Alliance ($30,000) 

To advance the implementation of a county-wide bus network redesign, grow a nascent coalition, and develop a community-driven advocacy group to produce more useful, equitable and environmentally friendly transportation options  


Miami Waterkeeper ($20,000) 

To increase Miami-Dade County’s resiliency to ecological threats from failing septic systems and deteriorating sewage infrastructure through water quality monitoring, community engagement and future policy change  


PACT ($20,000) 

To organize and train residents to hold public officials accountable for the approval and implementation of the Miami-Dade County Housing Blueprint and the City of Miami Affordable Housing Master Plan, increasing civic engagement in solving the area’s affordability crisis  


The Allapattah Collaborative CDC ($20,000) 

To engage, educate, and organize small business owners and key institutions around implementing equitable community development initiatives in the Allapattah neighborhood  


Tropical Audubon Society, Inc. ($20,000) 

To support the Audubon Ambassador Program to educate and create advocates for the environment and its conservation  


Urban Impact Lab ($20,000) 

To support the Transform 5th project at Jose Marti Park that will strengthen and expand the community’s ownership, stewardship and advocacy capacity around the vulnerable public space  


WeCount, Inc. ($20,000)

To support the launch of ¡Que Calor!: Heat Stress Education and Advocacy with Outdoor Workers, which will educate outdoor workers on heat stress prevention and management and increase public support for local heat standards for outdoor workers  


Creativity – $200,000

Area Stage Company ($25,000)

To expand the Inclusion Theatre Project (ITP), a performing arts education program for students with developmental, intellectual and physical disabilities  


Art Creates Us Inc. (ProjectArt) ($12,500) 

To support tuition-free after-school art programming for students in eight under-resourced neighborhoods and provide eight paid residencies for local resident artists  


Guitars Over Guns Organization, Inc. ($30,000) 

To expand arts education and mentorship programming to students living in Cutler Bay and Homestead  


Karen Peterson and Dancers ($7,500)

To create movement training workshops across three local university campuses to train occupational and physical therapy students as well as dance students to integrate dance and disability into their future work practices  


Mexican American Council, Inc. ($25,000) 

To support the Homestead-Miami Mariachi Conservatory’s year-round music instruction and academic enrichment program that engages migrant children and youth while raising the profile of migrant cultural and social issues  


Miami Children’s Chorus, Inc. ($10,000) 

To support the Chorus’s Community Programs that provide equal access for children to experience the joy of singing, further their artistic development and showcase their talents  


Miami City Ballet, Inc. ($20,000) 

To support the Ballet Bus scholarship program, which underwrites long-term access to holistic dance education for students from Title 1 Schools in Miami-Dade County  


Museum of Contemporary Art, Inc. ($20,000) 

To support HeART to HeART, an art-based community outreach program serving differently abled seniors and at-risk youth in Miami-Dade County  


Seraphic Fire, Inc. ($15,000) 

To support the Seraphic Fire Youth Initiative that will work with the Miami-Dade County School Board and the University of Miami to implement an educational model for music and choral training for underserved elementary school children through weekly lessons, teacher trainings and artist-led workshops  


The Children’s Voice Chorus, Inc. ($10,000) 

To provide access to quality choral arts to children and youth in economically suppressed communities in Florida City and South Dade  


University of Wynwood (O, Miami) ($25,000) 

To support O, Miami’s Educational Outreach Programs including The Sunroom’s classroom-based poetry instruction for Miami-Dade County Public Schools third- and fourth-graders; a Summer Professional Development Intensive for M-DCPS teachers; and poetry workshops for neuro-diverse students