Kaiser Permanente has provided $400,000 in community grants to two metro Atlanta organizations whose work focuses on addressing homelessness in their communities. The grant funding is part of Kaiser Permanente’s ongoing commitment to end homelessness and preserve affordable housing by making strategic grants, shaping policy, and catalyzing innovative partnerships.
The metro Atlanta organizations that Kaiser Permanente will help fund are:
United Way of Greater Atlanta, Inc. ($250,000) – United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Motel to Home: Healthy Homes for Kids project will use funding to help 80 families (about 200 individuals) living in hotels, motels, and extended stays in Metro Atlanta move into permanent housing. The project assists low-income families with at least one school aged child (ages 3-18) living in unstable housing in Metro Atlanta for at least 30 days or longer move into permanent housing. Some project activities include intake, housing assessment, housing identification, case management, linkages to resources and referrals, financial assistance, and aftercare assistance such as financial coaching with saving incentives.
St Joseph’s Mercy Care Services, Inc. ($150,000) – Funding will be used to assist Mercy Care in the administration of their “Strengthening the Medical Respite Ecosystem in Metro Atlanta, Georgia” project. The project provides recuperative care needs for homeless, medically fragile men and women in metro Atlanta.
“The support from Kaiser Permanente allows the Motel to Home program to have greater impact on the social determinants of health for families. Over 100 additional families will move from extended stays in hotels into their own apartments. Children will have space to learn, and families will have kitchens to prepare meals,” said Protip Biswas, senior vice president of economic stability with United Way of Greater Atlanta. “With this support it will help us complete the ambitious goal of finding housing for 1000 families in the past year. We are grateful to Kaiser Permanente for their generous investment in innovative and effective approaches to help families.”
“Mercy Care is thankful for the support of Kaiser Permanente, which will allow us to fully assess the recuperative care needs of adults experiencing homelessness throughout Atlanta and build a sustainable model for meeting those needs,” said Kathryn Lawler, Chief Executive Officer of Mercy Care. “Mercy Care’s medical respite programs for men and women serve over 130 of the most vulnerable people in our community every year, helping them to stabilize their health conditions and secure the permanent housing they need to fully recover. Kaiser Permanente’s generous financial and technical assistance support will enable Mercy Care to build the programming needed to serve even more individuals in need.”
Housing stability is a key factor in a person’s overall health and well-being. People experiencing homelessness face a 2- to 3-time higher risk of death than housed populations. Children’s well-being is adversely impacted by living in crowded spaces and can lead to adverse health outcomes. Increasing affordable housing preserves homes that improve total health and lift residents socially and economically.
“Innovative partnerships with community organizations like United Way and Mercy Care provide life changing stability and opportunities for Georgia’s families to thrive,” said Pam Shipley, president of Kaiser Permanente of Georgia. “We hope these commitments help address homelessness in metro Atlanta and provide a steppingstone to a better quality of life for some of our community’s most vulnerable families.”
In 2022, Kaiser Permanente increased their focus on social determinants of health through investments totaling more than $5.5 million in Georgia’s communities. Nearly $1 million in funding was granted to community partners to create more affordable housing, reduce the displacement of lower- and middle-income households, and end homelessness by ensuring access to supportive housing.