During the spring grant cycle, TMF awarded $1,293,175 to 49 nonprofit organizations and churches serving in one of four areas of focus. These focus areas were recently reassessed and redefined by the grants committee to include improving the condition of those living in poverty, faith-based outreach, community programs and services, and need-based scholarships.
“We are grateful to the Texas Methodist Foundation for their generosity and support of the work of CitySquare,” said Rochelle Hodge, Advisory Council Chair. The growth of CitySquare’s programs over the past two years has been exponential as we saw an increase in 2020 from serving 146 families through our Neighbor Support Center to 518 in 2021. This year, in the first four months, we have had the opportunity to impact 353 families.”
According to Wendy Abel, TMF’s Director of Grants, “As TMF continues to shape its grants ministry to invest in communities and strengthen nonprofit organizations, we are thrilled our footprint has expanded with the addition of new partners. Furthermore, we have taken additional steps to invest in nonprofit leaders by leveraging our expertise in cohort development to create a cohort specifically designed for our grant recipients.”
Begun in 2020, the Teen Center has equally seen growth each year, with 223 teens participating in the After School Program. In cooperation with the Paris ISD, they transported teens from the Junior High and High School by bus to the CitySquare front door throughout the school year, where they receive a snack and an evening meal to sustain them as some struggle with food insecurities. Often, the staff will provide an additional snack or meal to take home each day’s close.
Staffing is critical for CitySquare because there is only one full-time employee, Program Director Laura Woodroof. Working with the AmeriCorps program, CitySquare selects interns each semester to serve neighbors and teens, along with the part-time Teen Center Coordinator and Sports and Activity Coordinator. As a result, volunteers are always in demand at CitySquare. Whether a couple of hours a day or a week.
Ms. Abel added, “We want to be a partner, investing in the sustainability and health of these organizations. This new cohort will enhance our work, support local leaders, and amplify the mission-driven work of organizations across two states.”
According to Derald Bulls, CitySquare Paris’ Executive Director, “At CitySquare, all services are free. It includes showers with towels, washcloths, personal care items, access to a washer and dryer, clothes closets for children through adults, a warm meal served throughout the day, and a listening ear. In addition, through case management, we work to help in finding services and the appropriate agency to help meet neighbor’s needs.”
Free WIFI IS also available to all served at CitySquare on the campus at 2515 Bonham Street.