COVINGTON, Ky. — More than $60,000 in grants has just been deployed to six Northern Kentucky nonprofits, thanks to Horizon Community Funds.
This year’s recipients are focused on creating local jobs, strengthening education and improving refugee services.
Kristin Burgoyne is the executive director of Refugee Connect.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have served more families than we've ever served in any year,” she said.
It’s hard to imagine how the nonprofit would serve refugee families if not for the help of grants like this one.
Refugee Connect just got $15,000 from the community impact fund. The money will help lead a program designed to provide support to refugee families in their native language.
“I think there's often this misconception that when refugees come to our country, that they are a drain on our economy, but actually that's not true, Burgoyne said. “Really what we help them to do is remove the challenges and barriers that they face and being able to bring out the best in their strengths and their skill sets.”
Right now, the organization serves about 500 people continuously in Northern Kentucky; 300 are school-aged children.
“That money is really intended to stay locally invested,” said Nancy Grayson, president of the Horizon Community Funds. “We want to make sure that their impact is long-lasting. We're improving education with students. We're helping with health. Helping with jobs, helping with workforce development.”
Workforce development is a key reason why The Catalytic Fund received a grant. The organization invests in primarily vacant or abandoned buildings.
“We provide real estate investments that have a catalytic change in the community,” said Joe Klare, vice president of The Catalytic Fund. “We put them back into use by creating jobs in those buildings through spaces that businesses can come and locate. It's really important to get construction jobs going in the community. These projects take a lot of work, a significant investment.”
Klare said the $10,000 received by the fund could have an impact of more than $2 million in the local community.
“At the end of the day, if it weren't for the nonprofit community supporting projects like this, they wouldn't happen,” he said.
Horizon Community Funds gives out these grants each and every year. The application will open again on Jan. 1.