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SVdP NKY receives two grants to support its Sweet Dreams Bed program and utility assistance program

St. Vincent de Paul Northern Kentucky (SVdP NKY) has announced the receipt of two grants that will support the organization’s Sweet Dreams Bed Program and help support rent and utility assistance for those in need.

The first grant, from the Charles H. Dater Foundation, will support SVdP’s Sweet Dreams Bed Program. The funding will provide children under the age of 16, adults 65 years or older, and individuals with a disability who are economically disadvantaged with a twin mattress, box springs/bed frame combo, and a mattress protector and include delivery to the recipient’s home. The program especially addresses the need for a caregiver to provide a bed and a proper sleep environment when seeking custody of a child.

Families living in poverty are constantly readjusting their resources to pay for rent, utilities, and food. Coupled with potential health problems, car repairs and transportation, and other unexpected expenses, this can create barriers for those seeking adequate sleeping arrangements.

“As our Vincentian volunteers are out serving in the community, they often find children sharing beds, sleeping on couches, or even the floor, often due to a lack of room in the caregiver’s budget to purchase furniture.” said Karen Zengel, executive director of SVdP NKY. “For caregivers seeking custody of a child, it is required that they provide them a bed. Due to rising costs, this can be an obstacle for families who are trying to stay together. This grant from the Charles H. Dater Foundation will go a long way in helping families stay together and ensuring that children in poverty can be given a healthy sleep environment.”

According to the latest American Community Survey, Kentucky has the sixth highest poverty rate and the seventh highest child poverty rate. As the only bed assistance program in Northern Kentucky, SVdP NKY delivered 661 beds through the Sweet Dreams Bed Program in the 2022-2023 fiscal year, with 569 of those beds going to children. The organization expects to surpass that number in the 2023-2024 fiscal year, with the majority of them going to children.

For 27 years, SVdP NKY’s Sweet Dreams Bed Program has been providing beds to those who need them. When a bed request is received, the Assistance Office notifies Vincentian volunteers in the client’s community who make a home visit to evaluate their most pressing needs. Once the request is validated, a bed is delivered within 10-14 days.

A second grant from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) and co-investor the R.C. Durr Foundation will help support the SVdP NKY’s Emergency Rent and Utility Assistance Program. The funds will provide those in need with financial support for rent and utility expenses, keeping them safe and secure in their homes.
“The lack of affordable housing coupled with the increased cost of living has given rise to homelessness in Northern Kentucky,” said Zengel. “Because of this, we are extremely grateful for this grant award as we continue to help many of our clients who live at or below the poverty level and face financial hardship due to health problems, unemployment, or unexpected life events. This grant will go a long way in helping us increase the scale of support we provide to those facing economic hardships.”

During the fiscal year 2022-23, SVdP NKY served more than 9,270 people through the Emergency Rent and Utilities Program, totaling more than $950,000. Funds from this grant will be used as a bridge to help clients who have exhausted all available resources.

Since 1963, Greater Cincinnati Foundation has connected people with a purpose in an eight-county region in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. GCF is leading the charge toward a more vibrant and equitable Greater Cincinnati for everyone and values the co-partnership it has with the R.C. Durr Foundation dedicated to providing philanthropic support to improve the quality of life of the larger Northern Kentucky region and its people, particularly with an emphasis on education, social services, and community development. 

To learn more about St. Vincent de Paul Northern Kentucky and current assistance programs, please visit www.svdpnky.org.

St. Vincent de Paul Northern Kentucky

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