The Green Bay Packers Foundation has awarded two $150,000 matching grants that will support the MKE Fellows program and Milwaukee Health Care Partnership’s efforts to secure stable housing for homeless hospital patients.
Mark Murphy, president and chief executive officer of the Packers, announced the recipients of the impact grants at the NFL team's downtown Milwaukee office Tuesday.
Fellowship Open, which supports the MKE Fellows program, and Milwaukee Health Care Partnership are the first organizations outside of Brown County to receive Packers Foundation impact grants since it began awarding them in 2013.
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Each organization is required to raise an additional $150,000 to secure the donation.
Fellowship Open plans to use the grant to build the capacity and long-term sustainability of the MKE Fellows program by establishing an executive director, internship coordinator and student mentor coordinator position. MKE Fellows provides support to academically talented African-American young men in Wisconsin to prepare them to graduate from college and for career success.
With the addition of the new positions, the program expects to serve at least 200 young men annually by 2021.
Milwaukee Health Care Partnership is a public-private consortium that includes the region’s major health systems, federally qualified health centers and city, county and state health departments. It will direct its grant toward a two-year project to help secure housing for homeless patients in four high-traffic hospital emergency rooms. Through the program, Milwaukee County housing division navigators partner with ER care coordination staff to place homeless patients in supportive housing and to link patients with supportive resources. The project is expected to serve 60 homeless patients annually.
“The Packers Foundation and the Packers are proud to award grants to two exceptional Milwaukee organizations,” Murphy said. “Milwaukee has supported the Packers since the very early years of the franchise, and it is crucial for us to give back to the Milwaukee community. We look forward to seeing the Fellowship Open and the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership continue their transformational work in the community, helping those who need and deserve it most.”
The Packers Foundation said it has given 551 grants, totaling $1.5 million, to 287 organizations in the Milwaukee area since 2006.