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Pleasanton council doles out community grants

More than $1.2 million awarded to local nonprofits, causes

The Pleasanton City Council last week agreed to distribute more than $1.2 million to nonprofits and other efforts in the region through the annual grant process funded by local and federal dollars.

The grant awards, and the requests for funding received by city staff, show the far-reaching effects of the pandemic are seen everywhere and the nonprofit organizations are not spared either, according to city officials.

"We do have a lot of outstanding nonprofits in this community doing great work and when we don't fund them all or be able to fund all their programs, it's hard," Councilmember Kathy Narum said during the May 3 hearing, expressing hope to bridge the gap with better funding solutions in the future.

Councilmember Julie Testa also spoke about looking into increasing funding next year and getting closer to matching all of the funding requests.

Council members, with input from city commissions and staff, ultimately allocated grants for human services ($591,562), housing ($512,234), civic arts ($41,000) and youth programs ($40,000) for this funding cycle. They also awarded a one-time grant of $50,000 to newly established nonprofit Three Valleys Community Foundation.

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All council members expressed gratitude to the great work of the nonprofits and their dedication for filling in the areas of need.

"The city doesn't necessarily provide direct services and we rely heavily on these nonprofits and a partnership, a symbiotic relationship to serve those in need," Councilmember Jack Balch said as the council approved the human services grant list first.

Next, the council agreed unanimously with the recommendation made by the Housing Commission for housing-related grants.

"We are using our low income housing fund to keep people in housing units in our community, and I think it is a good use of that fund to actually achieve housing and meet housing needs at a better price than actually building housing units, which we understand is increasingly expensive," Balch said.

He added that this provides housing opportunities to those in need and is economical compared to other options like building newer units.

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"This is achieving housing for our community members right now, so $386,000, I'm gonna support the motion and I appreciate the work people are doing here and our Housing Commission," Balch said.

Mayor Karla Brown said housing the homeless is essential.

"I think most people would not even imagine in a quite affluent community like Pleasanton, there are many people that are at risk of losing their homes," she said.

Programs like this not only provide homes to the unhoused but give them the ability to work and send their kids to school without worrying as much about this basic necessity, according to the mayor. "I'm very proud that we are a part of this decision," Brown said.

The third section of this agenda item includes the review of grants for the Civic Arts Commission.

Testa spoke about past hurdles for art and civic grants that lost importance to the ones that were prioritized as essential. Times have changed, Testa said, and the categorization of commissions into different groups has given art the ability to thrive.

"It was really hard to put them alongside the basic-needs grants," she said.

Testa applauded the work of the commission and appreciated the funds dedicated to encourage art among the youth in Pleasanton.

"I think it's wonderful now that these grants are in the hands of the people who can properly review and represent them, without having to compete with other grants that might overshadow them," Testa said.

Brown shared similar thoughts, "It's a great program, and I strongly support the Commission's Youth Commission, and the Arts Commission."

The last item on the agenda -- the approval of a grant of $50,000 for 3VCF -- also saw unanimous support from the council.

"I am in full support of doing this on a one-time basis, and I'm happy to hear him say that they don't anticipate or don't plan to be back again for any more operational money," Narum said.

Similar excitement was seen among councilmembers, and Balch summed up the grant approvals for a grand total of nearly $1.24 million that is being invested to serve the community.

"When you add it all up, and you think of that number being pushed back to help those in need, I think that's commendable and speaks to the great work of a lot of our commissions but also our city staff and identifying the need, so thank you," he said.

See the full list of grant recipients here.

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Pleasanton council doles out community grants

More than $1.2 million awarded to local nonprofits, causes

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, May 11, 2022, 3:50 pm

The Pleasanton City Council last week agreed to distribute more than $1.2 million to nonprofits and other efforts in the region through the annual grant process funded by local and federal dollars.

The grant awards, and the requests for funding received by city staff, show the far-reaching effects of the pandemic are seen everywhere and the nonprofit organizations are not spared either, according to city officials.

"We do have a lot of outstanding nonprofits in this community doing great work and when we don't fund them all or be able to fund all their programs, it's hard," Councilmember Kathy Narum said during the May 3 hearing, expressing hope to bridge the gap with better funding solutions in the future.

Councilmember Julie Testa also spoke about looking into increasing funding next year and getting closer to matching all of the funding requests.

Council members, with input from city commissions and staff, ultimately allocated grants for human services ($591,562), housing ($512,234), civic arts ($41,000) and youth programs ($40,000) for this funding cycle. They also awarded a one-time grant of $50,000 to newly established nonprofit Three Valleys Community Foundation.

All council members expressed gratitude to the great work of the nonprofits and their dedication for filling in the areas of need.

"The city doesn't necessarily provide direct services and we rely heavily on these nonprofits and a partnership, a symbiotic relationship to serve those in need," Councilmember Jack Balch said as the council approved the human services grant list first.

Next, the council agreed unanimously with the recommendation made by the Housing Commission for housing-related grants.

"We are using our low income housing fund to keep people in housing units in our community, and I think it is a good use of that fund to actually achieve housing and meet housing needs at a better price than actually building housing units, which we understand is increasingly expensive," Balch said.

He added that this provides housing opportunities to those in need and is economical compared to other options like building newer units.

"This is achieving housing for our community members right now, so $386,000, I'm gonna support the motion and I appreciate the work people are doing here and our Housing Commission," Balch said.

Mayor Karla Brown said housing the homeless is essential.

"I think most people would not even imagine in a quite affluent community like Pleasanton, there are many people that are at risk of losing their homes," she said.

Programs like this not only provide homes to the unhoused but give them the ability to work and send their kids to school without worrying as much about this basic necessity, according to the mayor. "I'm very proud that we are a part of this decision," Brown said.

The third section of this agenda item includes the review of grants for the Civic Arts Commission.

Testa spoke about past hurdles for art and civic grants that lost importance to the ones that were prioritized as essential. Times have changed, Testa said, and the categorization of commissions into different groups has given art the ability to thrive.

"It was really hard to put them alongside the basic-needs grants," she said.

Testa applauded the work of the commission and appreciated the funds dedicated to encourage art among the youth in Pleasanton.

"I think it's wonderful now that these grants are in the hands of the people who can properly review and represent them, without having to compete with other grants that might overshadow them," Testa said.

Brown shared similar thoughts, "It's a great program, and I strongly support the Commission's Youth Commission, and the Arts Commission."

The last item on the agenda -- the approval of a grant of $50,000 for 3VCF -- also saw unanimous support from the council.

"I am in full support of doing this on a one-time basis, and I'm happy to hear him say that they don't anticipate or don't plan to be back again for any more operational money," Narum said.

Similar excitement was seen among councilmembers, and Balch summed up the grant approvals for a grand total of nearly $1.24 million that is being invested to serve the community.

"When you add it all up, and you think of that number being pushed back to help those in need, I think that's commendable and speaks to the great work of a lot of our commissions but also our city staff and identifying the need, so thank you," he said.

See the full list of grant recipients here.

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