Lilly Endowment awards $11M to 19 local groups serving immigrants

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Nineteen service organizations will receive a total of $11 million in grants from Lilly Endowment Inc. to serve immigrants from low-income households in central Indiana.

The Indianapolis-based philanthropy announced the grants Tuesday morning, saying they are intended to help immigrants acclimate to life in central Indiana and make progress toward self-sufficiency.

The three-year grants range from $250,000 to $1 million and will go to an assortment of faith-based organizations, neighborhood multi-service centers, health-care organizations and other groups that service immigrant communities.

During the last decade, the foreign-born population of Indianapolis has grown by 30 percent, the endowment said, citing recent U.S. Census data.

“Many have fled challenging circumstances in their native countries and are seeking better lives for themselves and their families,” the Lilly Endowment said. “Among the most pressing challenges they face in acclimating to their new community include English language acquisition, achieving legal status, enrolling in school, securing employment and obtaining health services.”

The service organizations assist immigrants in numerous ways, including English-language learning, job readiness programs, and programs to help secure and maintain legal status.

“We are pleased to support these organizations as they build their capacity to help our city continue to be a place that is welcoming and livable for all its residents,” Ronni Kloth, the Endowment’s vice president for community development, said in written remarks.

The endowment is one of the largest private philanthropic foundations in the United States, with net assets of $40.8 billion as of Dec. 31. Last year, it paid grants of $1.3 billion to arts, education, religious and community development organizations around the nation.

The immigrant-related grants will go to:

Burmese American Community Institute: $500,000
Catholic Charities of Indianapolis: $1 million
Christamore House: $250,000
Community Alliance of the Far Eastside: $500,000
Concord Neighborhood Center: $250,000
Eskenazi Health Foundation: $1 million
Exodus Refugee Immigration: $1 million
Fay Biccard Glick Neighborhood Center at Crooked Creek: $500,000
Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana: $500,000
Hawthorne Community Center: $500,000
Healthnet: $750,000
Immigrant Welcome Center: $1 million
Indiana Legal Services: $600,000
La Plaza: $1 million
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights: $300,000
Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic: $600,000
Raphael Health Center: $250,000
Shepherd Community Center: $250,000
Southeast Community Services: $250,000

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