Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program  |  P.O. Box 644017  |  Vero Beach FL  32964


Summary of 2017-2018 Grants Awarded


The Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program (GHCOP) is pleased to announce that its Board has approved grants to 34 non-profit agencies serving residents of Indian River County totally $410,150.  In addition, our Evening of Giving celebration program in November raised $28,000 which was distributed at Christmas time for needy children and others.  Our distribution of funds for the 2017-2018 season totalling over $438,000 which all went to support our neighbors in need. Our theme continues to be, “providing hope and help to our neighbors in need so they can lift themselves out of poverty”.  Our emphasis, though not exclusively, is on our neighbors in Gifford.


The grant process began when the Philanthropy Committee invited 40 non-profit agencies in IRC to submit a grant application in the early Fall, and 35 were received by mid-October.  Each application was carefully reviewed by a team of volunteers who met on site with the agency senior management and board representatives, when available to discuss the application and the specific request.  Each agency was required to submit detailed financial reports which were reviewed by one of our Financial Analysts.  After much committee deliberation a final recommendation was presented to the Board for their consideration and approval.  The approved grants fall into the five categories shown below.


Dale Jacobs & Liz Crowther, Co – Chairs of the Philanthropy Committee



Family Stability - $128,000 31%


Childcare Resources of IRC - $20,000:  to fund the Subsidized High Quality Childcare Program.  Working parents with incomes between 150% and 200% of the federal poverty level pay 15% to 30% of the cost of childcare at Childcare Resources.  The balance is paid by the private fundraising activities of Childcare Resources. The agency promotes the highest quality childhood development and education for economically challenged families.


CASTLE - $20,000:  This grant was approved by the Board in March to partially fund the Safe Families Program, however, upon learning additional information about CASTLE the Board suspended this grant and will use the funds for other approved agencies at some point in time.


Hope for Families Center- $20,000:  to fund operating expenses.  Hope for Families  provides a safe temporary residential facility for families where they are provided food and support services to get them back on their feet with employment and permanent housing.


SafeSpace - $17,000: to fund their Supportive Living Program, a transitional housing program serving victims of domestic violence in both a residential and outreach setting.  SafeSpace offers victims of domestic violence safety, support and education, empowering them to create a safe independent life free from violence.


Alzheimer’s & Parkinson Association - $15,000: to fund expenses for the Gifford Community Program that brings caregiver support, memory and movement programs and dementia education to residents of Gifford. The Association is dedicated to serving community residents with disorders affecting memory and movement by providing quality of life and choice through support, empowerment, education and research connections.


Samaritan Center - $13,000:  to support the services of a mental health counselor who provides therapy and emotional support as well as parental training, medical and psychological referrals and life skills workshops.  The Samaritan Center is a separate program in Vero Beach managed by the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach. Families can stay up to two years where they focus on learning “life skills development” with the primary goal of promoting healthy family values and employment discipline leading to economic independence through a highly structured Four-Tiered Level Program.


Veterans Council of IRC - $9,000:  to fund the Upward American Veterans Program.  The program provides services such as utility or rent payments and emergency funds for qualified veterans and their families to help them with short term needs leading to independence.  The Veterans Council is a collection of 24 veterans organizations in IRC and over 40 non-veterans entities that actively support veterans.


Substance Awareness Center - $8,000: to fund the ReDirect “indicated” prevention program for adolescents and their families.  The program is designed to provide information relevant to important life transitions that teens face and to provide individualized counseling. The parent program includes discussion topics about family communication, parent monitoring, role modeling, appropriate discipline and taking a clear stand on substance abuse.


Habitat for Humanity of IRC - $6,000:  to contribute to the cost of building a new home in the name of Grand Harbor for the family of Roberto Acosta and Rubby Martinez in the Waterside community of Oslo. Since 1991, Grand Harbor volunteers and funding from Grand Harbor members have constructed or rehabbed over 190 Habitat homes in IRC bringing people together to build communities and provide hope to its residents.


Youth Mentoring - $101,500 25%


Youth Guidance of IRC -$12,000:  to fund the Mentoring Academy.  The Mentoring Academy prepares youth ages 5-18 who come from low-income, single parent homes and mentors to work together in groups. Group mentors are matched with small groups of children for a seven week semester, meeting weekly.


Gifford Youth Achievement Center - $29,000:  to fund the After School Education Program.  Gifford Youth Achievement Center provides quality after school educational and enrichment programs for children of all ages.  The After School Program provides homework assistance, tutoring, mentoring, educational enrichment activities and also provides cultural, social and recreational opportunities.   This is the major core program of GYAC and serves over 160 students.


Crossover Mission - $20,000:  to fund core operating and administrative expenses.  Crossover Mission works to redirect at-risk youth in IRC through a year-round community youth recreational activity enrichment program available to youth ages 8-18.  They focus on after school tutoring and basketball programs for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.


Gifford Youth Orchestra - $12,000:  to fund music scholarships for the String Program. The Gifford Youth Orchestra provides education, experience and training in various cultural and performing arts with a core focus on mastering stringed instruments for children who are at risk of becoming homeless. After school music instruction builds self confidence and pride in children from a challenging home environment.


Children’s Home Society of Florida, Treasure Coast Division - $10,000: to fund the Transition Living Center (TLC) in Vero Beach.  The TLC is a residential program for homeless youths ages 18-23 who have aged out of foster care.  The program provides a safe environment to complete high school or a GED, receive training in life skills and assistance in finding employment opportunities.  Children’s Home Society of Florida is the oldest private social services organization in Florida providing a wide variety of services to children at risk.


Feed the Lambs Enrichment Program - $10,000:  to fund the After School & Summer Recreation Program.  Feed the Lambs provides after school tutoring services for students at the Oslo Middle School in South Vero. They also provide a summer recreation program for low income students from the Oslo and Gifford areas.


Big Brothers Big Sisters - $8,500:  to fund the School & Site-Based Mentoring Program.  The program revolves around 1-to-1 mentoring to improve kindergarten readiness, literacy skills and social/emotional growth as early grade reading proficiency is noted to be a critical bridge to academic success.



Job Training - $61,500 15%


United Against Poverty of IRC - $16,000:  to partially pay for the Success Training for Employment Program (STEP).  STEP serves under or unemployed adults with the goal of lifting participants out of poverty through employment.  Through a 3 phase program, participants are motivated and trained to find and keep a job.  UP of IRC serves those in poverty with a variety of “hand up” programs. Currently they have 275 employed participants in their STEP Phase 3 Success Coaching.


The Source - $15,000:  to partially fund the Dining with Dignity Program and to pay for a safety fence along the adjacent railroad tracks. Dining with Dignity trains clients for positions in the food service industry.  The Source serves the needs of the homeless, working poor and seniors with services that include hot meals six days a week, shower facilities, internet access, laundry facilities, mail box service and job training.  Over 200 volunteers assist in providing services to the poor at The Source.


Camp Haven - $14,000:  to partially pay for professional counseling for clients in the Pathways to a Purposeful Life Program. Camp Haven provides a residential setting for homeless men to regain financial independence and self esteem leading to full time employment. They do so through a structured program of counseling on social and relationship skills, acquiring and maintaining employment, education opportunities and reconnecting with their communities in a healthy, drug-free life style.


Environmental Learning Center - $10,000:  to provide several Gifford high school students with paid summer internships in the Teaching Job Skills for a Greener Future Program.  The comprehensive 6 week program focuses on developing a broad range of skills needed in the environmental services industry.  The Environmental Learning Center works to inspire and empower everyone to be active stewards of the environment.


Literacy Services of IRC - $6,500:  to partially fund expenses of their one-on-one adult literacy tutoring program. Clients establish literacy goals, often to gain better employment.  Literacy Services is the safety net for adults to improve their literacy skills to better improve their lives and the lives of their children.


Education - $61,750 15%


Hibiscus Children’s Center - $17,250:  to fund an on-site full time education teacher position and to provide expanded internship opportunities in the Graphic Design Impact Center as part of the Career Pathways Program. Hibiscus provides a residential setting for foster youth, ages 13-17, to gain wraparound support to promote academic success, complete high school, and prepare for independent living, college or employment.  The residential setting is a cluster of group homes that provide a home-like environment in Vero Beach.  Each home is totally self-contained and they share common support services such as a library, computer lab and counseling support.


Education Foundation of IRC - $15,000:  to partially fund their Success Through Science Program to advance the Indian River Regional Science and Engineering Fair. The Education Foundation raises private funds to support teachers and students in the IRC public schools with training and supplies that are not otherwise available through the school district. Grand Harbor volunteers contributed time and energy to support the Science Fair..


Economic Opportunities Council - $10,000: to fund a new Early Bird pre-school Program at Dodgertown Elementary School modeled after their successful program at Indian River Academy.  Their mission is to transition at risk individuals and families from poverty to self-sufficiency through in-house programs and public/private partnerships.  They also run Head Start Programs in IRC. Our grant was conditioned on them not receiving a $100,000 grant from Impact 100 to support this program, however they received that grant subsequent to our approval.  Consequently our funding will be made available to another agency at some point in time.


Scholarship Foundation of IRC - $8,000:  to fund a college scholarship for a high school student in the name of Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program.  All scholarship recipients must meet a high academic standard and meet the federal guidelines for financial assistance. The Scholarship Foundation accepts applications in the fall and interviews all applicants and reviews each application in the winter. Awards are announced in May.


Healthy Start Coalition  -  $6,500: to fund the Language Nutrition Program with the purchase of 1,300 parenting books.  The program distributes the books to at risk families with children, age birth to 3 years old, and teaches parents to instill literacy in their young children.  The mission of Healthy Start Coalition is to develop and maintain a support system of care that optimizes the health of mothers, babies, and their families in IRC.


Dasie Bridgewater Hope Center - $5,000:  to fund salaries for the Tutorial Program.  Dasie Hope provides educational, recreational, job-training and enrichment opportunities for disadvantaged youth and adults in the Wabasso and North County areas. Disbursement of our grant is conditioned on receipt of certain financial assurances by June 1st.


Health and Special Needs - $57,400 14%


The ARC of IRC - $14,150:  to pay for replacement and new screening for the porch of one of their group homes.  The ARC supports and empowers individuals with special needs to achieve their life goals.  They operate residential group homes, provide employment training and job services, counseling and transportation to over 200 adults daily with a variety of disabilities.


Senior Resource Association - $10,000:  to pay for meals for homebound seniors who are on the wait list for the Meals on Wheels Program. SRA promotes independence and dignity in IRC by providing services to older adults and free county-wide transportation for everyone.  In addition to the Meals on Wheels Program, services include case management, adult day care, nutrition education, counseling and emergency home energy assistance.


Women’s Care Center of IRC - $9,750:  to pay for supplies for the Lactation Program offered to women through the Crib Club Shopping Boutique. Women’s Care provides free medical services for women facing unplanned pregnancies.


Sunshine Physical Therapy Clinic - $7,500: to partially cover staff salaries and clinic overhead for the Sunshine Kids Program.  The program provides free multi-disciplinary rehabilitation services for all children regardless of insurance status. The Sunshine Physical Therapy Clinic is a non-profit independent outpatient rehabilitation center that provides services to IRC residents with the goal of enhancing quality of life by offering professional rehabilitation services to children and adults.


VNA of IRC - $6,000:  to partially fund the Medicaid-Eligible Patient Care Program.  The program is the VNA’s critical safety net for an estimated 120 home health patients.  These clients are under 65 and either under-insured or without health insurance or funds to pay for their health care.  The VNA provides compassionate, innovative care for patients needing home health, hospice and community services.


Special Equestrians of the Treasure Coast - $5,000:  to fund a therapeutic horsemanship program for third graders with learning and emotional disabilities attending Dodgertown Elementary School in Gifford. Special Equestrians fosters personal achievement through equine assisted activities and therapy for individuals with special needs.


Mental Health Association of IRC - $5,000:  to partially fund their Walk-in Center.  The Center provides people of all ages free immediate access to emotional and behavior health care.  Appointment and longer term care services are offered free to individuals who qualify as indigent and to others based on a sliding scale of income.  The mission of the MHA is to provide immediate access to mental health services with no barriers.