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uwkv Innovation fund

The 2022 funding cycle has closed. If you have an innovative project in Kennebec County that needs funding, please check back in spring 2023 to apply.

2022 Innovation Fund Recipients Announced—$90k invested

Augusta Teen Center—$30,000

Augusta Teen Center's (ATC's) Edge Program gives Kennebec County teenagers the skills and training that will allow them to explore different job and career options before entering the workforce. The Edge Program, which is geared toward teens in ATC's Diversion to Assets and Alternative to Suspension programs, will match youth with local businesses that will teach and grow basic workplace skills that they may not otherwise have the opportunity to develop. Community partners in Augusta may support the program by offering host sites, mock interviews and resume assistance.

Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter and Services—$30,000

Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter and Services (MMHSS) will operate a Winter Overnight Warming Center from Nov. 1 to Mar. 31.

Currently, MMHSS operates its 48-bed shelter at full capacity, which allows the organization to serve approximately 20 percent of those requesting services. The additional warming center will provide that critical overnight shelter to the people who need it most. 

In addition to a safe place to sleep, the overnight warming shelter will provide bathrooms, showers, food and access to professional case management, housing navigation and programs like Rapid Rehousing—setting these individuals up for long-term success.

South Parish Congregational Church—$30,000

South Parish Congregational Church (SPCC), responds to the needs of Southern Kennebec County's homeless population during the coldest months of the year through an Emergency Overnight Warming Center.

This project seeks to address one piece of a much larger housing crisis by creating a low-barrier emergency overnight warming center located at SPCC and operated by a center director and team of trained seasonal staff.
 
The Center will benefit not only individuals seeking assistance, but the providers who work with them by establishing an effective, efficient and less costly way of ensuring that individuals have a safe place to sleep at night. 

2021 Innovation Fund Winners 

Big brothers big sisters of mid-maine—$30,000

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine's Bigs with Badges program aims to prevent children from seeing law enforcement as an adversary by connecting youth (Littles) with law enforcement officers and first responders (Bigs) to build lasting relationships through one-on-one mentoring. 

healthy communities of the capital area—$15,000

Healthy Communities of the Capital Area (HCCA)—The LGBTQ+ YeSS program will provide a safe, supportive environment for youth programming beginning in the summer of 2022. Not only does this project create a supportive network between youth-serving entities, but it is also a primary prevention project as it increases the protective factors of LGBTQ+ youth and reduces risk factors that are correlated with substance use, depression and anxiety.