This article originally appeared in the Framingham Source on November 23, 2021

FRAMINGHAM – The MetroWest Health Foundation announced it has awarded more than $1.9 million in grants to area organizations.

Based on the recommendations of the foundation’s Grant Panels and Distribution Committee, the Board of Trustees have approved the award of 29 new grants to MetroWest health and human service organizations. Included in this round of funding are grants to expand mental health services for youth, bolster organizational capacity building, and a new community
engagement strategy focused on homeless Latinx youth.

The foundation also made recent grants to support the development of a state-of-the-art Patient Simulation Center at MassBay Community College’s new Health Science Center now under construction in Framingham.

The foundation is also supporting Behavioral Health Partners of MetroWest as they implement a new health & human services hub – MetroWest Care Connection – that will provide enhanced
access to services and supports across Ashland, Framingham and Natick.

Organizations receiving grants are as follows:

Youth Mental Health Initiatives

Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School $5,000 To provide students access to the INTERFACE Referral Service.

Advocates, Inc. $49,889 To provide mental health supports in the Marlborough Public Schools.

Doc Wayne Youth Services, Inc. $50,000 To expand group therapy programs at Framingham Public Schools.

Framingham Public Schools $100,000 To support additional mental health counselors.

Hopedale Public Schools $48,474 To support a Multi-Tiered System of Support counseling program.

Westborough Public Schools $57,500 To provide universal mental health screening and supports.

Capacity Building Initiatives

Advocates, Inc. $25,000 To develop a training curriculum to increase staff retention.

Dignity Matters, Inc. $25,000 To purchase a volunteer management system.

Franklin Food Pantry $3,900 To provide trauma-informed nutrition training for staff and volunteers.

Holliston Council on Aging $25,000 To conduct a comprehensive study of the town’s 55+ population.

Natick Service Council, Inc. $25,000 To purchase a volunteer management system.

Needham Public Health Division $4,000 To enhance clinical supervision of clinicians and direct service workers.

RIA House Inc. $18,050 To support staff professional development opportunities.

South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Inc. $40,000 To integrate agency data systems.

SPARK Kindness, Inc. $49,980 To develop a comprehensive strategy to promote volunteer engagement.

Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, Inc. $50,000 To provide racial trauma training.
Community Engagement Initiatives

Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, Inc. $49,999 To address the root causes of homelessness among Latinx youth and young adults in MetroWest.

Responsive Grants

Framingham Health Department $20,000 To develop a regional rapid response grief outreach program for families of fatal overdose victims.

Jewish Family Service of Metrowest $20,000 To resettle and support Afghan Evacuees in MetroWest.

MetroWest Regional Transit Authority $12,850 To equip paratransit vehicles with AEDs.

Needham Public Health Division $20,000 To support a facilitated discussion on shared regional public health services.

Other Recent Grants

A Place to Turn To support the food pantry. $30,000

Behavioral Health Partners of MetroWest $399,999 To implement a Health & Social Service Hub.

Family Promise MetroWest $100,000 To convert the day center into an overnight family shelter.

Lovin’ Spoonfuls $150,000 To establish a second MetroWest route.

MassBay Community College $500,000 Establish a Health Sciences Patient Simulation Lab.

MetroWest Free Medical Program $50,000 To support Basic Health Needs – Primary Care.

Natick Service Council, Inc. $30,000 To support the food pantry.

Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, Inc. $21,948 – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training Program.

The MetroWest Health Foundation is a catalyst for a healthy MetroWest, providing more than $5 million in annual financial support for preventative and responsive health programs. Through its work on issues such as adolescent health, healthy aging and health equity, the foundation seeks to develop and support programs that have a positive impact on the health of the twenty-five communities in the MetroWest area of Massachusetts.

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