March 14, 2012:
Though winter is winding down, the need for shelter, warm food and other services exists year ‘round for the homeless and near homeless. Fresh Start
in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, has received a grant of $5,000 from the Avista Foundation
to support the operations of the organization that offers area homeless individuals a warming center when overnight temperatures reach 20 degrees or lower. In addition, Fresh Start offers food, showers and laundry facilities to help alleviate the suffering of those who are among Kootenai County’s most vulnerable population.
“We estimate there are 1,200 homeless individuals in Kootenai County, many of whom suffer from mental illness and/or substance abuse issues. At Fresh Start, we collaborate with health and welfare agencies to serve people with basic necessities to help keep them from ending up in the hospital emergency room or in jail to stay warm, be fed or get healthy again,” said Howard Martinson, executive director of Fresh Start.
“With fewer public resources available to help those who are homeless or low income, programs like Fresh Start bring private resources together in ways that strengthen the safety net of services people need to succeed,” said Patty Shea, Avista regional business manager for Coeur d’Alene. “Working together with other community organizations, we are bridging the gaps left by funding cut-backs during these difficult economic times.”
For the first quarter of 2012, the Avista Foundation made grants totaling $144,700 to human care services, educational and community vitality organizations in our service territory in Washington, Idaho and Oregon, including $62,000 for scholarships at area universities and colleges through the Avista Scholars
About the Avista Foundation
The Avista Foundation, established in 2002, focuses its giving on grants that strengthen communities and enhance the quality of life for people served by Avista Utilities in eastern Washington, northern Idaho, southern Oregon and Sanders County, Montana. The foundation focuses its giving in the areas of:
· education – K-12 education particularly in the fields of science, math and technology; and higher education including scholarships,
· vulnerable and limited income populations – providing assistance to those on limited incomes and support for initiatives to reduce poverty,
· economic and cultural vitality – supporting projects that help communities and citizens to grow and prosper.
Information on the Avista Foundation is available at www.avistafoundation.org
. The Avista Foundation is a separate, non-profit organization established by Avista Corp. The foundation does not receive funding from Avista Utilities customers through rates.
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