Nonprofits get $1M from Hope Fund

Recpients excited to hear news of grants for services within the community
Amy Skilbred

Fifteen local nonprofits will receive over $1 million from the Juneau Hope Endowment Fund through the Juneau Community Foundation. Recipients were excited to get the news on Tuesday.


Saralyn Tabachnick, executive director of the AWARE shelter, had forgotten about the grant application while working to extend the program’s classes for women and the development of a new transitional living facility.

With a phone call from the Empire, she learned that AWARE will receive $121,290 for services to families experiencing abuse.

“This money will provide an incredible opportunity to offer more services to the women and their families,” she said Tuesday. “We can enhance the groups we are able to offer to women such as parenting, relationships and financial literacy and that’s just wonderful.”

Tabachnick said the organization’s primary goal is to expand services and support for women to reconnect with and support their families after violence and sexual abuse.

AWARE typically assists about 700 women and their families a year with safety and life-skills, according to Tabachnick.

Other recipients include the Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition, Juneau Youth Services’ foster care program, Catholic Community Services hospice care and Gastineau Human Services. These organizations each will receive more than $100,000.

Gastineau Human Services Executive Director Mike Pellerin said the $114,075 his organization is set to receive will go toward a permanent housing assistance fund for people who are “either homeless or will be homeless soon.” He said the organization offers support in locating affordable homes for displaced individuals.

The Juneau Hope Endowment Fund’s goal is to assist Juneau residents struggling with mental illness, addiction, domestic violence, terminal illness and depression, according to the press release.

“By combining these grants with state and local funding, and private support Juneau will be able to provide greater social services,” Juneau Community Foundation Executive Director Amy Skilbred said in the release.

Other organizations receiving grants are Glory Hole, Riverbend Elementary School, Discovery Southeast, JUMPP, Alaska Legal Services, Association for the Education of Young Children, National Alliance for Mental Health, REACH, National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence and Juneau Police Department.

This round of grant endowments is part of a $40 million donation from former Alaska Electric Light and Power owner and president Bill Corbus, who sold his company to Avista in 2013. This donation made up about 90 percent of Corbus’ shares in the power company.

In a conversation with the Empire’s editorial board, Skilbred said the $22 million Hope Fund is expected to distribute about $1 million per year — 5 percent of its corpus — each year to Juneau nonprofits.

“We are excited about the future of this program, which will improve the quality of life for everyone in Juneau,” Eric Kueffner, president of the Juneau Community Foundation, said in the release. “As we monitor this first round of grants, we want to identify the most effective means of achieving results. Our long-term goal is to increase the impact of these grants in the years ahead.”

• Contact reporter Stephanie Shor at 523-2279 or at





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