Microgrants available to provide increased opportunities for citizens with disabilities

Published 9:33 pm Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Small grants can now create big opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities.

The Minnesota Microgrant Partnership, a new initiative started in October, invites Minnesotans with disabilities to apply for small amounts of funding to help them achieve their person-centered goals in inclusive housing; integrated, competitive employment; or greater inclusion and participation in their community. The partnership is funded by an Innovation Grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

“As an advocacy organization that believes that people with disabilities should fully participate in their communities, we are thrilled to provide this unique opportunity, where self-advocates can share with us how we can best help them in achieving their goals,” said Wendy Gerlach, Minnesota Microgrant Partnership program director.

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People with disabilities across Minnesota can apply for the microgrants. To qualify, individuals must have:

Financial barriers in reaching their goals in employment, housing or community integration.

Receive selected state-funded services that help them live in the community, or have an educational services plan to help them transition from school to life in the community as an adult.

The amount of money available for each microgrant ranges from $100 to $1,000, with consideration given to requests up to $2,000.

The Arc Minnesota is accepting the applications for funding, approving qualifying applications and distributing the funds. It anticipates funding 355 microgrants over the next 14 months.

The Minnesota Micro-Grant Partnership page on The Arc Minnesota website at www.arcmn.org contains more information, including a section with responses to frequently asked questions. Contact Wendy Gerlach at wendyg@arcmn.org or 651-604-8070; or Susan Sochacki at susans@arcmn.org or 651-604-8056 for additional information.

The Arc Minnesota is a statewide, nonprofit organization that promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes. It is supported by members, partners and 10 affiliated chapters statewide. For more information, go to www.arcmn.org.

The local chapter, The Arc of Freeborn County, is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday at 407 E. William St. in Albert Lea. The organization can also be contacted at 507-377-3469, office@arcfreeborncounty.org or on Facebook.