a newly employed client ringing the job bell on the wall

Boston, June 05, 2020 –Project Place is one of 130 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s $20 Million Grant Program. The Boston-based organization was chosen from a total of 738 applicants during a competitive review process.

Project Place promotes a community of hope and opportunity for homeless and low-income individuals by providing the skills, education and resources needed to obtain and sustain employment and housing.

The Cummings Grant will fund our programs for individuals who are reentering the community after a period of incarceration.  These programs include work-ready classes, industry specific training with the opportunity for credentials, transitional employment, case management and career counseling.

“We are grateful for our partnership with the Cummings Foundation.  The Cummings Grant funds the resources needed to provide structure, stability and clear paths to make transformative change possible.”

Reentry specific curriculum content was added from our Community Reentry for Women (CREW) and Industry Training Reentry Program (ITRP) to our Work Ready class to provide additional support for navigating community reintegration during this time. ITRP instructor, Alex, has been engaged as a teaching assistant for those enrolled who qualify for reentry services. Alex says, “It has helped us tremendously as an organization to become more interconnected departmentally. I believe that is will have a successful impact on our clients when we return to business as normal post-COVID.”

“For incarcerated individuals, who have been on a ‘lockdown status’ since the pandemic began, Project Place’s adapted service delivery model is being considered by correctional facilities as alternative method to provide them with access to programming. The Reentry Team continues to strive to ensure that recent released individuals obtain the necessary support and connections to resources,” says Beth Carter, Director of Reentry.  The Cummings Grant is much needed to fund and maintain the quality programs supporting men and women in our community.

The Cummings $20 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the area where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. Founded in 1970 by Bill Cummings, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 10 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

“We have been impressed, but not surprised, by the myriad ways in which these 130 grant winners are serving their communities, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19,” said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation’s executive director. “Their ability to adapt and work with their constituents in new and meaningful ways has an enormous impact in the communities where our colleagues and leasing clients live and work.”

Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $280 million to greater Boston nonprofits.

Social distancing requirements will prevent Foundation and grant winner representatives from convening for a reception at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn, as planned, to celebrate the $20 million infusion into greater Boston’s nonprofit sector. Instead, Cummings Foundation expects hundreds of individuals to gather virtually for a modified celebration in mid-June.

The Cummings $20 Million Grant Program resulted from a merger of the Foundation’s two flagship grant programs, $100K for 100 and Sustaining Grants.

The Foundation and its volunteers first identified 130 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each. Among the winners are first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that have previously received Cummings Foundation grants. A limited number of this latter group of repeat recipients will be invited to make in-person presentations in the fall, when public health related circumstances allow, proposing that their grants be elevated to long-term awards. Thirty such requests will be granted in the form of 10-year awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 each.

This year’s diverse group of grant recipients represents a wide variety of causes, including homelessness prevention, affordable housing, education, violence prevention, and food insecurity. The nonprofits are spread across 40 different cities and towns, and most will receive their grants over two to five years.

The complete list of 130 grant winners is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

A great deal more information about Cummings Foundation is detailed in Bill Cummings’ self-written business book, “Starting Small and Making It Big: Hands-On Lessons in Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy.” The brand-new, and significantly updated, 6th edition is available on Amazon or cummings.com/book.

About Project Place

Project Place has been working in the community since 1967, serving clients in the face of significant challenges. As the needs of the population have shifted over the years, Project Place has responded by refocusing its programs. The importance of jobs and housing, and reaching financial independence has never been greater.

Project Place opens doors to opportunities to individuals who may have limited options for employment stemming from problems related to poverty, homelessness, insufficient education, criminal records, domestic violence or histories of mental health or addiction. Often it is more than one of these interruptions happening at once or causing each other. These problems are incredibly overwhelming to overcome without assistance.

Prospective clients come to us through word-of-mouth and by referrals from community, churches or local jails. We offer a warm welcome to all those who cross our threshold, whatever their background or circumstances. Our staff provides paths for each individual to reach his/her goals and supports them along their journey to transform their lives.

About Cummings Foundation

Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities in Marlborough and Woburn, and Veterinary School at Tufts, LLC in North Grafton. Additional information is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

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