Changes in Medicaid eligibility and implementation of the health insurance marketplace will have a significant impact on coverage for more than 150,000 low income Milwaukee residents and will create an even greater need for education and enrollment. Two local agencies will be better able to help with consumer outreach and enrollment thanks to grants from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

With support from a $50,000 grant, the Milwaukee Health Department will hire two additional health access assistants for its Community Healthcare Access Program. The assistants will provide education, outreach, enrollment and other assistance for about 1,500 low-income residents during the open enrollment period, which runs from Oct. 1 through March 31, 2014.

Columbia St. Mary's, on behalf of the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership, received $50,000 to contract with a statewide health care enrollment education and outreach organization called Covering Kids and Families. The organization will help the local public/private consortium conduct a consumer education and outreach campaign specifically for local health care organizations, community clinics and other health care enrollment professionals so they can assist low income and uninsured individuals with the new coverage options.

"Information and access are critical for the health of individuals and families in our community," said Janel Hines, the Foundation's director of grant programs. "The Foundation is supporting outreach and enrollment efforts to help ensure that eligible individuals access benefits."

The grants were part of more than $1,116,000 awarded through the Foundation's third quarter competitive and discretionary grant cycle. Additional grants include:

Strengthening education

SHARP Literacy: $50,000 to expand its visual arts-based literacy program into St. Anthony School. The school, with 760 students, will be the largest school to participate in the nonprofit's programming.

Greater Milwaukee Committee: $25,000 to support its Teachtown initiative, which is designed to recruit and retain Milwaukee Public School teachers.

Make a Difference Wisconsin: $25,000 to support recruitment efforts for more teachers to help teach its financial educational program for teens.

Playworks Milwaukee: $25,000 to help fund implementation of its program at Dr. George Washington Carver Academy.

University of Wisconsin-Waukesha Foundation: $25,000 to support its Stay in School and Succeed program, which helps students of color, first generation and economically disadvantaged students increase their retention rate at the university.

Milwaukee Chapter of the Black Alliance for Educational Options: $20,000 to support outreach efforts to help inform parents when they choose a school for their children.

Milwaukee Ballet Company: $8,000 to expand its ResiDance program to serve students at Bruce Guadalupe Community School.

Sharon Lynne Wilson Center: $5,000 to pilot a youth arts education program for students at 95th Street School. If successful, the program could be replicated in other schools.

Strengthening neighborhoods

ACTS Housing: $100,000 (over two years) to help it launch a microlending program for low-income families interested in acquiring and rehabbing foreclosed properties.

Sixteenth Street Community Health Center: $70,000 (over two years) in support of ongoing efforts to engage residents in the revitalization of the Kinnickinnic River Corridor.

Holton Youth and Family Center: $20,000 to support an intake specialist/office coordinator for the Holton Family Youth Center in Milwaukee's Riverwest neighborhood.

Radio for Milwaukee: $20,000 toward its Community Stories series, a regular feature that highlights stories about Milwaukee neighborhoods, people and organizations.

Fondy Food Center: $5,000 to support artists engaged in its fall social and cultural events.

Increasing economic opportunities

La Casa de Esperanza: $100,000 to expand its financial literacy and asset building program for participants seeking free tax assistance in the VITA program.

Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative: $100,000 (over five years) in support of its asset building program called Make Your Money Talk. The 13-year-old program provides participants a match for their savings accounts and teaches them money management skills.

Project RETURN: $35,000 to help 150 low-income formerly incarcerated men and women find permanent employment.

Grand Avenue Club: $25,000 to support transitional employment opportunities for individuals who experience mental illness.

Milwaukee Area Workforce Funding Alliance: $10,000 to support the organization's work to help unemployed individuals receive training and secure employment.

Promoting racial equity and inclusion

YWCA of Greater Milwaukee: $25,000 to support its racial justice programming.

Regional vitality

River Revitalization Foundation: $60,000 toward the renovation of an office and outreach center that will serve as the southern entrance to the Milwaukee River valley and Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum.

Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee: $40,000 to support its efforts to enhance membership for nonprofits.

Mequon Nature Preserve: $25,000 toward the scraping of wetland and removal of drain tile and invasive species, such as buckthorn, in an 18-acre wetland and hardwood forest.

Milwaukee Public Museum: $25,000 (over two years) to help the museum expand its Spark! program so it can serve more people with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers.

Bread of Healing Clinic: $25,000 to expand access to dental services for low-income and uninsured patients of its free medical clinic.

Midwest Bike Share: $25,000 in support of the launch of the bike sharing program in Milwaukee.

AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin: $24,933 to help launch a program that would specifically help HIV positive, low income women in Milwaukee to access the care and services they need to manage their disease.

Advocates of Ozaukee: $15,000 in support of its legal service program for domestic abuse victims.

Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps: $4,250 to expand its capacity to serve more young adults ages 17 to 24 in its environmental steward program. Through the program, participants work in land and water conservation projects in Ozaukee and Washington counties.

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