Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos donate $97.5 million to 24 nonprofits across the U.S. working on family homelessness

CLEVELAND, November 20, 2018 – Emerald Development & Economic Network, (EDEN), Inc. announced today it will receive a $2.5 million grant from the Day 1 Families Fund to provide rental assistance and related support services targeted to homeless and at-risk families in the Cleveland region.

The goal of this initiative is to provide an opportunity for these families to be successfully housed, and to maintain their housing in the community. EDEN, Inc. provides housing solutions to people facing the challenges of housing insecurities and homelessness. While community-wide efforts have had a tremendous effect on reducing specific homeless populations — such as adults who experience chronic homelessness and veterans who are homeless — the need to serve families experiencing homelessness and families on the verge of homelessness remains great. From January 1 to September 30 of this year, nearly 500 families sought shelter via Cuyahoga County’s Coordinated Intake system. Of those, 153 families had been through Coordinated Intake previously.

“We are truly honored to receive one of the first grants from the Day 1 Families Fund, and to partner with them in our shared goal to engage in needle-moving work to provide systemic solutions to homelessness and to enable families who are experiencing homelessness or are at-risk to achieve long-term stability,” said EDEN’s Executive Director, Elaine Gimmel. “We firmly believe that affordable, stable, and safe housing is the linchpin to improved health and educational outcomes for every member of a household, and enables them to take positive steps toward achieving life goals.”

As public resources become increasingly restricted, EDEN recognizes the need to partner with private organizations that are similarly committed to providing housing for the community’s most-at risk populations.

“We are thrilled to be able to collaborate with the Day 1 Families Fund to collectively implement strategies to end homelessness, and to increase access to sustainable housing for families,” said Gimmel.

Recognizing that the linkage of housing and supportive services is the key to the success of the families and individuals it serves, EDEN also works very closely with agency partners to provide a continuum of ongoing and customized services to its clients. EDEN serves over 4,000 households annually through its programs and services.

EDEN, Inc. is one of 24 nonprofits to receive the first Day 1 Families Fund grants, totaling $97.5 million. Recipients from around the country include: Abode Services, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami, Catholic Community Services of Western Washington, Community of Hope, Community Rebuilders, Crossroads Rhode Island, District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH), Emerald Development & Economic Network (EDEN) Inc., FrontLine Service, Hamilton Families, Heartland Family Service, Housing Families First, JOIN, LA Family Housing (LAFH), Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS), Primo Center for Women and Children, Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWA), SEARCH Homeless Services, Simpson Housing Services, The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte, The Salvation Army of Greater Houston, UMOM New Day Centers and Urban Resource Institute (URI).

Founded by Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, the Bezos Day One Fund consists of two programs: the Day 1 Families Fund that provides grants to nonprofit organizations fighting homelessness, and the Day 1 Academies Fund that will fund and build a network of pre-schools in low-income communities across the country. The Day 1 Families Fund’s vision comes from the inspiring Mary’s Place in Seattle: no child should sleep outside. A small group of expert advisors provided input to the Bezos Day One Fund team to select these organizations. The Day 1 Families Fund will be awarding grants annually. For more information, visit www.BezosDayOneFund.org/Day1FamiliesFund.