Convivium

Convivium Urban Farmstead offers a casserole giveaway every Thursday. Convivium and four other local nonprofits were recently awarded grants by the City of Dubuque.

The City of Dubuque recently awarded $100,000 in grants to local nonprofit organizations.

City Council members this week approved awarding Purchase of Services grants to five nonprofit organizations. This marks the second round of grant allocations this year from the city, which previously awarded $100,000 to six organizations in February.

The Purchase of Services Grant Competition is utilized by the city to divert Community Development Block Grant and general city funds to nonprofit organization programs that advance the city’s priorities. The awarded organizations are recommended by the Dubuque Community Development Advisory Commission.

The majority of this round’s grant awards will go toward local programs designed to assist residents seeking housing or shelter.

Four Oaks Family and Children’s Services in Dubuque will receive $20,496 for its supportive housing services. Tami Gilmore, enterprise chief operating officer for Four Oaks, said the funds will provide residents with financial management and budgeting assistance, along with connecting clients to food banks, transportation assistance, medical services and educational support.

“This grant will be used for supportive housing services to help support families to live more stable, productive lives,” Gilmore said.

Dubuque Community YMCA/YWCA will receive $15,824 for its domestic violence shelter, which is used to temporarily shelter and protect victims of domestic violence. Deb Gustafson, executive director of child care and social services for the organization, said the funds will be used to improve the shelter, the location of which is kept confidential in order to protect clients.

Gustafson said the building is aging. The funding will be used to replace kitchen cupboards and sinks, insulate windows and replace lighting.

“We want the shelter to look nice and accommodating for the people that are seeking shelter there,” Gustafson said. “It’s a very old facility, and it was last renovated in the 1930s, so it needs some work.”

Other grant recipients include Opening Doors, which will receive $25,000 for permanent supportive housing efforts; Almost Home, which was awarded $15,680 for homeless shelter services; and Convivium Urban Farmstead, which will receive $23,000 for its community casserole program.

Convivium was also a recipient of $2,000 in the last round of city grant disbursements.

The nonprofit launched an initiative last year to feed hungry neighbors when the coronavirus pandemic upended the organization’s usual business model. Community Casseroles is an initiative to produce and distribute free, healthy vegetable, grain and protein-based casseroles to local residents in need. That has continued in 2021. Leslie Shalabi, co-founder of Convivium, said the funds from the city will go toward buying ingredients and overhead costs to keep the program going.

“We don’t have any income requirements for the people we serve,” she said. “It’s taken a lot to keep the program going, so we appreciate the city’s support.”

Recommended for you