2020 IMPACT Grant Recipients

85 local non-profits from across Western North Carolina are the recipients of WNC Bridge Foundation’s 2020 IMPACT Grants, with awards totaling $3,977,917.

In its second year of regional grant funding, WNC Bridge Foundation nearly doubled the number of organizations receiving IMPACT Grants compared to 2019. Mental health counseling for uninsured and under-insured people, mentorship and literacy support for youth, and delivery of meals to homebound seniors are examples of how grants will be put into action.

Aligning with the Foundation’s goal of being a catalyst for positive change throughout the 18 counties of Western North Carolina, the three focus areas for 2020 IMPACT Grants include elder care, wellness support, and youth development.

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Elder Care: $851,309

Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity: Aging in Place initiative of the Home Repair Program addresses critical health and safety home repair issues in the homes of low-income, elderly Buncombe county homeowners to remediate unsafe and health-threatening housing conditions, exacerbated by the pandemic.

Carolina Caring: More than just treating a diagnosis, both palliative medicine and hospice care support the whole person by addressing physical, psychosocial, and spiritual needs. Funding will provide this service to more people in Burke and McDowell counties which will allow patients to live their lives as they choose, with dignity, alertness and freedom from pain.

Community Housing Coalition of Madison County: Weaving a Holistic Health Program into the home repair programs has become increasingly important in order to spend more time building relationships with elderly clients and provide an overall quality of life in addition to their safe, affordable and healthy housing needs. Many elderly are isolated, not just through lack of social support, but also through basic “outside” communication tools like access to reliable transportation, internet, cell phone service, etc. in a vast rural county.

Jewish Family Services: Support the three-day-a-week Elder Club Group Respite Program for Buncombe and Henderson counties independent elderly who may or may not be experiencing physical limitations, memory loss or dementia issues.   

Land of Sky Senior Companion Program: Non-stipend volunteers to serve older adult clients in Transylvania and Henderson counties who want to remain living independently in their own homes.

Meals on Wheels of Asheville & Buncombe County: Purchase wholesale food to prepare and provide 8000 meals to approximately 400 homebound seniors throughout Buncombe County.

Meals on Wheels of Haywood County: Support current or additional qualified recipients in need with priority given to adults who are soon to be/recently discharged from the hospital, rehabilitation/nursing facility or have in home aid due to health challenges. Their needs for a meal and a safety check by a caring volunteer are especially needed during this vulnerable time after a recent hospital or recovery stay.

MemoryCare: Care of indigent, under-served families caring for loved ones with dementia for a pilot tele-health project to improve access to services in Haywood county and counties west. 

Mountain Housing Opportunities: Eliminate immediate threats to life, health and safety for low-income elderly homeowners. Emergency Home Repair program saves homes and lives, prevents displacement of elderly homeowners, and reduces hospitalizations from falls and other severe medical conditions.

Mountain Projects: Sustain and continue the expansion of the in-home aide program services to enable elderly population to stay in their homes longer and avoid more costly institutional care. Assistance provided includes housekeeping, shopping, errands, cooking and companionship which helps address food insecurity, quality of housing, and some transportation issues.

Pisgah Legal Services: Elder Law Program (ELP) which provides free legal assistance to help low-income seniors meet their basic needs of accessing food, safe housing, utilities, and medical care. ELP stabilizes and preserves affordable housing options for elder clients by reducing threats of eviction, foreclosure, and other displacement and by improving existing housing conditions through enforcement of rental housing codes and other rights.

Transylvania Christian Ministry – Sharing House: Support for efforts to meet the Nutritional Health and Wellness needs of low-income, homebound seniors in Transylvania County. Funds will be used to expand existing pantry services (Neighbors’ Market) to pilot the home delivery (once a month) of food pantry orders to the frailest elders in our community.  Deliveries will be tailored (via personal assessment and phone call each month) to meet specialized dietary needs and provide nutrient-dense options to neighbors who are homebound due to compromised health or immune conditions. 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: MAHEC’s Home Based Primary Care program reimagines not only how care of older adults is delivered in Western North Carolina, but the type of care they receive. The program aims to comprehensively address the social determinants of health that fundamentally affect older adults’ wellbeing meaningfully and conveniently.

United Community Development of North Carolina: Provide weatherization and energy efficient window inserts to homes in the legacy black neighborhoods of Asheville, which includes Southside and Shiloh. Many of the households’ energy costs can be reduced by 30% each moth with weatherization installations, energy efficient window inserts, and basic life and safety repairs.  

Western Carolina Community Action: Access to nutritious food and essential services, social interaction, and connection to the remote, underserved areas of Transylvania County.

YMCA Of Western North Carolina: Serve older adults through a wide selection of programs that meet the diverse needs of the older adult population to include, but not limited to, providing evidence based health intervention programs that reduce falls risk, food insecurity, programs for caregivers and educational, and addressing social and physical activity inequity. Project will serve McDowell, Henderson, and Buncombe counties and participants will not have to be Y members.



Wellness Support: $1,956,906

ABCCM Medical Ministry: Access to care for medical, dental, pharmacy services for uninsured adults. Typical clients are working uninsured adults from the tourism and hospitality industry, self-employed or entry level jobs with no income or not enough employees to offer insurance.

ABCCM-Veterans Services of the Carolinas: Provides veterans call center coordination in 16 western counties in any 1 of the 21 identified social service needs for service members regardless of discharge status. Ongoing support services are specially developed for veterans and family members.

All Souls Counseling Center: Sliding scale support for adult clients seeking mental health services who are uninsured or unable to pay due to unemployment. 

American Red Cross Serving Western North Carolina: A community emergency vehicle will be purchased for disaster relief throughout the WNC region, mostly around home fires and for biomed blood services. The vehicle will also transport volunteers to locations with aid and follow up case work such as bringing goods or information to victims.

Arc of Buncombe County Inc: Crisis assistance support will be available for people with disabilities and their families. This project also supports school IEP follow up for families to transition participants to job shadowing and sheltered employment for older disabled children aging out of services and parental support with counseling, medical and financial needs.

Asheville Buncombe Institute of Parity Achievement: Community health workers will conduct A1C screenings, nurse screenings, other access to care needs including helping patients purchase medical equipment and improve housing safety. 

Babies Need Bottoms, Inc: As the only diaper bank in WNC serving Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Transylvania, Madison, sometimes Mitchell, this project will further toilet training initiatives with 14 community partners.

Beacon of Hope: A new refrigerated box truck will support the food pantry’s efforts in helping Madison County residents access food boxes and obtain more fresh produce.

Black Mountain Counseling Center: Mental health services expansion into McDowell County and sliding scale for all clients as needed, from children to older adults.

Blue Ridge Mountains Health Project, Inc. DBA: Blue Ridge Free Dental Clinic: Uninsured and under-insured patients with emergency dental service needs will be able to access emergency and limited restorative dentistry in the counties of Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain and Transylvania

Bounty & Soul: This project will obtain and deliver produce to vulnerable, chronically ill people, and support ongoing nutrition education programs.

Buncombe County Health and Human Services-Clinical Services: Access to breast and cervical cancer treatment screenings for uninsured women ages 40-62 as well as support services for women with any abnormal results for length of their life. 

Buncombe County Veterans Treatment Court: Veterans Treatment Court’s holistic services for veterans sentenced from the district court system, usually identified with PTSD and limited family support. Efforts include teaching accountability through treatment (inpatient and outpatient) and weekly case management at least three times a week which includes housing, health and other supports.

Burke United Christian Ministries: A community resource manager will help support and prevent homelessness by coordinating with other churches and organizations that provide housing goods and occasional rental assistance for clients.

Eblen Charities: Will support the organization’s biggest gap in housing assistance: family units with no dependent children to help prevent homelessness in older adults, who usually seek help during crisis after medical or dental crisis impacts fixed income living.

Good Samaritan Clinic: A medical provider at this clinic will serve low-income uninsured or under-insured people who cannot afford co-pays or deductibles.

Haywood Pathways Center: Homeless shelter in Haywood County, provides meals and case management for each client to make sustainable change, in addition to safe shelter.

Haywood Street Congregation: The medical respite program will provide safe, secure housing for homeless people recovering from hospital stays. The program also works with respite clients to establish housing supports and resources upon recovery and discharge.

Homeward Bound of Western North Carolina: This project will provide case management and housing placement for people identified as homeless within the past 12 months, including work with landlords and clients through intensive case management.

Interfaith Assistance Ministry Inc: Basic needs assistance to prevent homelessness through community outreach managers actively engaged in Henderson County. Support includes rental assistance, utilities assistance, fuel assistance, bus tickets, medication assistance, personal hygiene items, emergency pet assistance, school supplies to name a few.

JM PRO TV: Strengthen bilingual media in WNC and provide communications with the Latinx population to keep them informed of COVID-19 updates.

MANNA Food Bank, Inc: Build capacity for MANNA’s partner providers and the food pantry supply network. Some portion of funds would help rebuild network that faltered during COVID-19 impacts and build a sustainable food distribution hub, connect clients to additional resources such as facilitating connections between service providers like WIC providers, and health screenings on site.

Ministry Seven dba/ Hendersonville Rescue Mission: This program includes shelter, drop-in clinic, cooked meals, and day center showers for people experiencing homelessness as well as workforce development efforts.

Mount Zion Community Development, Inc: Project Nurturing Area Families (NAF) will reduce infant mortality, premature and low birthweight births for African American pregnant and post-partum women.

Mountain Child Advocacy Center: Provide access to evidence-based crisis intervention and counseling services for children and their caregivers who have experienced abuse and their parents/caregivers who are struggling with PTSD symptoms.

New Hope of McDowell: A licensed counselor will provide services to all victims of abuse at the domestic violence shelter.

Olive Hill Community Economic Development Corporation, Inc: The Financial Empowerment Center will provide individualized asset building strategies promoting progress and prosperity among potential small business owners and/or clients working on rebuilding credit and homeownership.

Only Hope WNC: Provide access to the drop-in teen shelter and basic needs such as personal hygiene items and access to medical care.

Pisgah Legal Services: The medical-legal partnership with MAHEC will continue to embed an attorney in a medical department, serving clients in all 18 counties for housing, benefit, and domestic violence assistance.

REACH of Macon County: REACH’s prevention program will work with identified adolescent populations to promote change, create awareness, and increase knowledge about relationship violence and community violence. REACH’s prevention programming targets 5th-9th grade students by introducing age appropriate concepts that include conflict resolution, healthy/unhealthy relationships, victim blaming, gender stereotyping, anti-bullying, harassment, and bystander intervention skills.

Sixth Avenue Psychiatric Rehabilitation Partners, Inc. DBA Thrive:  Access to services for adults with mental health and housing needs in Western North Carolina.

Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry: Basic needs assistance, such as firewood, rental assistance, utilities payments, food pantry, clothing closet, and housing assistance.

The Center for Rural Health Innovation: Meds for Kids Program will provide access to medications for underinsured/uninsured students who utilize the telehealth program to include prescriptions, inhalers, antibiotics, and over the counter medications.

The Community Table: Supplemental groceries and nutritious, made-from-scratch meals to people in need in Jackson County.

The Giving Spoon: Meal program will provide free prepared, home-cooked meals to anyone in need, and some limited delivery for homebound seniors and people without transportation by purchase of a vehicle.

The Housing Assistance Corporation: Single parents and seniors on fixed incomes will be able to access major home repairs in efforts to prevent homelessness and unsafe conditions.

TRACTOR Food and Farms: Project will expand community access to local foods to fight hunger and improve community health, and to support farmers by connecting them with local markets and outlets serving those in need.

United Way of Asheville & Buncombe County: 211 will expand its capacity, particularly during COVID-19 and related relief and recovery initiatives, to help those residing primarily in counties within the Western NC region find food, medical services, housing, utility assistance, and critical disaster services during the pandemic.

Vecinos Farmworker Health Program: Expansion of its unique service model of fully bilingual medical staff and Community Health Workers (CHWs) to low-income, uninsured Latinos that are not necessarily farmworkers.

W4H Asheville dba Working Wheels: Increase capacity to produce dependable cars as well as provide discounted vehicle repairs for essential workers who are unable to afford the necessary repairs on a vehicle they already own.

Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation: This project supports WE CAN efforts from Project Access which refers participating patients to supports for food, housing, transportation, and other social determinant of health needs.

Western Carolina Rescue Ministries: Overnight emergency shelter and men in transitional housing in recovery for up to one year.

Western North Carolina AIDS Project: Clients will be able to access emergency housing and utilities help, as well as out of pocket medical costs.

Yokefellow Service Center: Access to basic needs assistance with eviction prevention support.

YWCA of Asheville and WNC: Emergency child care will be expanded for parents looking for work or attending school.



Youth Development: $1,169,702

30 Judicial District Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Alliance: “Children Exposed to Violence” program to increase direct mental health services to child and youth victims of crime. In addition, requested funds will help strengthen a network of specialized providers within the seven far western counties of NC through monthly networking meetings and quarterly training opportunities.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC: High School Bigs program in Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson Polk, Cherokee, Burke, Graham and Swain Counties.  Program is designed to provide elementary school children with a positive mentor and a positive peer group in which to learn the skills and traits to succeed in school and life.

Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County: Project Care will stabilize and enhance trajectories of low-income youth through social emotional learning programs, formal mentoring and guidance sessions, as well as counseling for highest risk youth.

Buncombe County Schools-Graduation Initiative Program: Twilight School is an educational opportunity offered free to high school students in the evening during second semester of the school year, January through June. Students attend in the evening and earn additional new credits or complete credit recovery courses to earn credits necessary to graduate from high school.

Burke Partnership for Economic Development: Academic support programming, targeting social determinants of health that affect marginalized and underserved communities in Burke County, specifically Hispanic and African American communities.

Children Family Resource Center: Preschoolers Reaching Educational Potential (PREP) program provides free developmental, hearing and vision screenings and remedial support services for children ages 3-5 in Henderson County.

Children First/Communities in Schools of Buncombe County: Community Supports Coordinator and Student Support Specialists at four elementary schools in Buncombe County.  Specialists addresses the challenges to academic achievement children from low-income households’ experience, including food insecurity, transportation barriers, and lack of access to school supplies and clothing.

Communities in Schools of North Carolina Jackson County: Student Support Specialist delivers and coordinates tiers of services, programs and interventions for the student and family community of Smokey Mountain Elementary School in Whittier.

Eliada Homes: Eliada Students Training for Advancement program works with transitioning youth ( ages 16-25) on achieving independent adulthood. Through holistic case management, mentorship, and weekly workshops, youth who have experienced foster care, the juvenile justice system, the mental health system, early parenting, and have a high rate of adverse childhood experiences, work to meet their personal and professional goals.

Helpmate: Youth Violence Program provides educational workshops to children and the professionals who serve them with the goal of promoting safe and healthy relationships in Buncombe County.

Henderson County Education Foundation: Improve academic outcomes for youth by providing additional academic supports and enrichment programs.

Hights: Juvenile Justice Collaborative works in the seven counties west of Buncombe County. Addresses the inequities experienced in rural populations in accessing quality services including teen court and conflict mediation, restorative justice-based restitution programs, after-school and summer support programs, vocational assessments and job skills training, and crisis mental health/substance use services.

Irene Wortham Center: Early Learning Center Expansion Groundwork Project.

Literacy Together: Trained tutors provide reading support to struggling students whose families cannot afford to pay for private assistance.

Neighbors in Ministry/Rise & Shine: After-school program and summer camp working with economically disadvantaged and racial minority children in Transylvania County.

Open Doors of Asheville: ‘To & Through’ College Access and Completion initiative, a whole-child informed approach helping students reach their full potential; K-College.

Partners Aligned Towards Health: Free after-school youth development programs for Mitchell and Yancey county youth.

Read to Succeed Asheville/Buncombe: Will transform current in-person, classroom-style volunteer training into multiple interactive online courses, and one-to-one in-person student tutoring into a virtual video conference tutoring program.

Rock Hill Missionary Baptist Church: Project Lighten Up’s after school and summer camp programming for underserved youth.

Smart Start of Transylvania County: Will establish home based licensed childcare centers in unserved areas of Transylvania  county, i.e. – the most rural parts of the county.

St Gerard House: Support life outcomes for children with autism.

The Mediation Center: School Attendance Mediation program in Transylvania County, focusing on high school students at Davidson River School, the alternative school for Transylvania County.

United Way of Henderson County: Will continue their ongoing work of improving pre-k literacy and kindergarten readiness.

Verner Center for Early Learning: Verner Central Early Childhood Capital Project.

Western Region Education Service Alliance: Professional development training sessions focused on the GLAD literacy approach for educators across WNC, with the goal of improving literacy for students across WNC.

Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind: Increase self-reliance and bolster personal independence. Link children and teenagers who are blind or visually impaired to a wide range of recreational activities, practical courses, and specialized vision products and adaptive technologies.

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