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Nonprofits get $180K in grants

More than 50 groups to receive project funding

JOHNSTOWN — The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies has announced more than $180,000 in grants from its Spring 2020 Grant distribution.

A total of 59 nonprofits in Cambria, Bedford and Somerset counties received funding to support projects across the region.

The bulk of the initiatives address health and human services needs, as well as community and economic development projects — a reflection of the increasingly in-demand services of nonprofits helping the region recover from the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. While the foundation created a fund to address those specific challenges — the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund — many of the annual spring grant distributions will bolster those efforts and help the community continue to move forward together, now and in the long term.

For example, Next Step Center in Somerset and United Methodist Human Services in Johnstown both are providing tools to help individuals achieve long-term stability. Both offer programs, now funded with help from CFA Spring 2020 grants, to create better pathways and lasting stability for community members in need, CFA Associate Director Angie Berzonski said.

“Local nonprofits are working very hard to help our community navigate the increasing human services and economic needs we are seeing, and our distribution committee members believe it’s important to address those on all levels, from individual to family, and from immediate to longer-term,” she said. “We appreciate nonprofit work that helps create a pathway out of poverty, which can make a difference for generations.”

Next Step Center, which serves the local homeless population, received $3,750 for its Transitions Program, a life skills evening shelter care program that helps to develop and integrate the homeless population back into the community through the use of case management and innovative life skills classes.

United Methodist Human Services in downtown Johnstown received $4,500 for an economic empowerment program, Bridges to Success, which aims to reverse the effects of poverty in our community by setting participants on a path to self-sufficiency.

Beyond helping individuals land a job, the program also helps with education, resource development, and other practical assistance to help participants experience sustainable positive change.

As they do each spring and fall, the grants also provide ongoing support for arts and culture; children and youth; environmental causes; and education in the region.

In the money

Among the 59 nonprofits to receive grants from the Community Foundation of the Alleghenies are:

Bedford County

* Bedford County Amateur Radio Society; emergency operations center upgrade; $1,500.

* Bedford County Historical Society; lighting for parking area; $1,500.

* Bedford Fire Department No. 1; multiple gas detectors; $1,000.

* Bedford Heritage Trust; The Fort Era; $2,000.

* Downtown Bedford Inc.; farmers market vouchers; $1,500.

* Everett Free Library; library security system upgrade; $6,700.

* Everett Happy Senior Citizens; furnace repair; $2,500.

* Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs, Bedford County; Build the Beef Barn; $1,000.

* Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art; Centennial Celebrations Children’s Art Camps; $1,000.

Cambria County

* Cambria County Planning Commission; Veteran Park to Allegheny/Portage Historic Site; $3,500.

* Northern Cambria Community Development Corp.; Patton Park Trail; $3,500.

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