Council approves nonprofit organization funding at meeting

The Claremont City Council unanimously approved nonprofit funding recommendations brought before them Tuesday night.

The Community Based Organization Grant Program budget included $86,650 for general services and an additional $60,000 for homeless services.

The Claremont After School Program (CLASP) received $12,850 of the $15,000 requested. Claremont McKenna College’s SOURCE program received $5,325 of the $6,500 it requested and YouTherapy School-Based Psychological Services for Underserved Youth and Families received $22,300 of the $25,000 it had requested.

The CBO Grant Program has two parts: an annual application process and an onsite evaluation for approved grant programs.

In December 2014, the city opened up the application requests to all grant recipients who applied for funding during the past three years as well as to a list of nonprofits that serve the Claremont community.

By the January 15, 2015 deadline, a total of 24 individual agencies submitted applications for 26 programs. Of those, 17 agencies submitted applications for general services grants for $86,650 in available funds. Seven agencies vying for $60,000 submitted applications on behalf of homeless service programs.

The Community and Human Services Commission heard oral presentations from the applicants in March 2015 during two public meetings, with a third meeting held to consider the grant proposals and develop funding recommendations.

Proposals were evaluated based on the agency’s history, how the program aligned with the city council priorities, human services department master plan or city planning documents, the number of Claremont residents or students served, the potential impact the program provided recipients as well as how well the program fit the current needs of the community.

As dictated by the grant policy guidelines, 20 percent of CBO funding should be allocated to new and emerging programs. In 2015-16, eight of the 24 applications were for new programs, with the commission dedicating 9.4 percent or $13,725 of the total available funds to those programs.

YouTherapy Psychological Services received the largest sum ($1,300) in relation to their funding request ($1,500) for their parental support program. It was a quest much different result than in May 2014, when the commission allocated only three percent of its resources to new and emerging programs, citing financial restrictions and causing a heated debate in council chambers.

Claremont Homeless Advocacy Program (CHAP) fell into that category last year, with CHAP representative Karl Hilgert telling the council that the $1,000 allotted to his organization in 2014-15 felt like “a slap in the face.”

Mr. Hilgert said he was encouraged to apply and was led to believe the group would receive sufficient funding. CHAP fared better this year, receiving a total of $6,450 of the $8,500 it requested for 2015-16 for two of its programs—Aid and Advocacy Program for Homeless Persons and Homeless Coordinating Funding.

Of the 24 CBOs that requested funds for 2015-16, three programs—CLASP, Claremont McKenna College Source and Inland Valley Hope Partners’ Family Stabilization/Homeless Assistance Program—were eligible for multi-year funding or “institutional funding” as outlined in the guidelines and approved by city council in February 2014. The commission chose not to use this funding option in the 2015-16 year as it might have locked these agencies in at a lower level of funding for two years rather than what they might receive if they reapplied each year.

Also scheduled to be heard by city council Tuesday evening was a Water Wise Landscape Assistance Program developed by the city, offering a low interest loan to homeowners interested in retrofitting their front and side street side yard areas to include climate-appropriate landscaping and efficient irrigation systems.

The item was pulled from the agenda by City Manager Tony Ramos and will be presented at the April 28 city council meeting.

—Angela Bailey


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