Community Project Fund proposals & voting process, January 2024

Here are quick links to the four organizations/proposals! Scroll down to read about the funds we’re giving away and how we got here.  To see the complete proposals, contact Rev. Miranda or call the church office. 

Ho-Chunk Supportive Housing for Young Families

Own It! Building Black Wealth Educational Materials

WayForward Resources Housing Stability Program

The Road Home’s Heart Room Program

St. Dunstan’s Community Project Fund: Housing Grants
In 2018, as part of Saint Dunstan’s capital campaign for a major renovation (called The Open Door Project), we recognized that our parish is committed to loving our neighbors in response to Jesus’ call. In this spirit, St. Dunstan’s committed a portion of the Open Door Project funds raised to serve the wider community after the renovation had been completed. These funds – amounting to $70,000 – were intended to be used to develop a new project to address a local need, and offer our members opportunities to learn, engage, and serve.

Following long delay in implementing this project due to the Covid pandemic, in 2023 St. Dunstan’s has discerned that these Community Project Funds are to be allocated to help address the housing crisis in Dane County. We anticipate awarding 2 to 4 one-time grants, each ranging from $10,000 to $25,000.

Why housing? 
In almost any conversation about issues and challenges affecting vulnerable communities, in Dane County and nationwide, housing comes up as a core issue. We are facing a housing crisis both nationwide and in Dane County. And housing ties in with lots of other issues: poverty, academic success and employment, transit (and therefore pollution and climate), and much more. To learn more, use the link below to access some articles (additional resources welcome!).

What happens next? 
We have received four applications from local organizations that are doing work around affordable housing, reducing homelessness, and keeping people housed. In the weeks ahead, we plan to roll out information about each of these organizations and their specific projects. Please read about these groups as information comes out, in the coming weeks!

In mid-January, we will invite members of the parish to vote on which organizations and projects they would most like to fund. The congregation’s preferences will help the Vestry decide how to allocate the funds and send out the grants. We are committed to making that decision and announcing grants on February 1.

Finally: Because of the long Covid delay, our Vestry has decided that our priority is to get these funds out into the community. But we continue to hope that the Community Project Fund will lead to new opportunities for the people of St. Dunstan’s to learn, engage, and serve. We hope that everyone will take some time in the next two months to learn more about the housing crisis – whether here in Dane County, or where you live, for those in other areas. Many of housing solutions are deep in the weeds of local politics, and it matters to simply have more people who understand what’s at stake. New ways to get involved or help out may emerge out of our shared learning.

I’m new here. What’s this all about? 

The Open Door Project was a capital campaign and renovation project to make our buildings better serve our common life and mission. The extensive renovations of our main building and the Parish Center, the building at the end of the parking lot,  increased safety, accessibility, and comfort, and gave us more usable and flexible spaces for ourselves and community groups. You can read more here.