Otto Bremer Foundation Awards $4.2 Million in Emergency Funding

The St. Paul-based Otto Bremer Foundation has announced eighty-one grants totaling $4.2 million to community organizations in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin working to provide emergency financial assistance to people struggling to pay for basic needs such as food, housing, health care, and reliable transportation.

The Bremer Emergency Fund is a joint response to ongoing economic challenges in the region, with grants from the foundation supplemented by emergency donations from Bremer banks. Recipients of the one-time grants, which range from $5,000 to $100,000, include Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the Central Minnesota Community Foundation, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Grand Forks, and Dunn County Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers in Menomonie, Wisconsin.

While the foundation is no longer accepting applications to the emergency fund, it will continue to respond to the recession by focusing its 2009 Twin Cities-area grantmaking on poverty alleviation and its funding in North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota (outside the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area) on a broad range of community needs and opportunities.

"We recognize that timely financial assistance can sometimes make the difference between instability and security, enabling families and individuals to meet emergency needs and retain housing or jobs," said Bremer Foundation trustee William Lipschultz. "Once people are able to meet their basic needs and avert a crisis situation, they are in a better position to access community programs that can help them achieve long-term economic stability."

For a complete list of emergency grant recipients, visit the Bremer Foundation Web site.