Reliant Foundation Awards a Record Number and Amount of Grants to Non-profits in Central and MetroWest Massachusetts

The Independent Charity Is Providing $431,500 to 44 Organizations Offering Health and Wellness Programs

Operating as an independent organization for the first time in its 30-year history, The Reliant Foundation today announced that it has just awarded $431,500 in grants to 44 non-profit organizations in Central and MetroWest Massachusetts, bringing its 2018 grants total to $500,000. This is the largest dollar amount and number of community grants ever provided by the Foundation in a year.  

The grant recipients are organizations whose programs align with the Foundation’s top two focus areas of addressing substance use (primarily the opioid epidemic) and mental and behavioral health services for children and youth. Funds were also granted to programs battling childhood obesity.

“The newly-released Greater Worcester Community Health Assessment* states that the top two priority areas are mental health and substance abuse; the foundation is proud that we’re on target with our granting focus,” said Kelsa Zereski, president, Reliant Foundation. “We’re thrilled to be able to extend this level of financial assistance to these important organizations providing critical programs that are helping to change lives and improve community health on a daily basis.”

*Click here to learn more about The Greater Worcester Community Health Assessment

Zereski explained that the 2018 community grants given to 501(c)(3) organizations represent a 168 percent increase in dollars, and a 26 percent increase in the number of recipients, over 2017, as the Foundation raised the ceiling on its community grants program.

“The Board of Directors recognized that it was important to entertain larger grant requests than we have in the past to help address the critical community priorities, and felt fortunate to be able to do so,” said Elizabeth L. B. Greene, Esq., grants committee chair, Reliant Foundation, and a lawyer with Mirick O’Connell.  “The Foundation exists to help make a positive impact on the health and well-being of the people of our region, as they battle health and wellness issues, including the opioid and mental health crises. We hope and believe that this level of grant funding will have a dramatic positive impact in these areas.”

The following organizations are receiving grants from the Foundation through its most recent grant cycle in 2018:

  • Abby’s House – Advocacy and supportive services for women experiencing homelessness, including mental health case management services and referrals
  • Anna Maria College – The creation of a “Center for Addiction and Recovery”
  • Bancroft School – Support for the “Worcester Partnership Program,” including nutrition education and substance-use-prevention education to help underserved youth make healthy life choices
  • Becker College – Education and referral workshops on mental health for parents of children and youth in Leicester, Spencer and East Brookfield
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/MetroWest – Creation of the “Bigs in Blue Youth Mentorship Program”
  • Boys & Girls Club of Worcester – “Individual and Family Support (FS)” core area programs and services, which are aligned with supporting mental health and behavioral health as well as preventing substance abuse
  • CASA Project, Inc. – “Mental Health Services for Vulnerable Children” pilot program to eliminate wait times for mental health services for the children served by CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)
  • Catholic Charities Worcester County – Creation of a women’s recovery program in Leominster, through renovations and upgrades to a building purchased for this program
  • Children’s Friend – Training of new Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) clinicians at the Ellsworth Child and Family Counseling Center
  • CHNA9 (c/o Montachusett Home Care Corporation) – Funding to support CHNA9 and mental & behavioral health outreach as part of the C.H.I.P. (Community Health Improvement Plan) for North Central MA
  • Coalition for a Greater Healthy Worcester (c/o YWCA Central Mass) – Funding to support the coordination and implementation of the C.H.I.P. (Community Health Improvement Plan) for Greater Worcester
  • Dismas House – Substance abuse prevention and recovery work in three residential recovery homes in Worcester
  • Doc Wayne Youth Services – To add additional “Chalk Talk Group Therapy” sites in Framingham and get more children off of the waiting list for services
  • Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center – To plan for the implementation and integration of behavioral and psychosocial services within school-based health centers in Worcester and Framingham
  • Family Health Center of Worcester – “Screen Our Students” program through the FHCW school-based health centers
  • Genesis Club – “High School Transition Program” to help high school seniors with mental health needs transition to adult based mental health services
  • Girls, Inc. – After school program promoting healthy lifestyles initiative and mindfulness enhancement for girls
  • Growing Places – Start-up funds for the “Gardner GROWS” project with Gardner Public Schools and Heywood Hospital
  • Home2Homes – Funds to purchase shelving and bins to better organize donations, as well as to purchase new bedding and towels for the shelters served by Home2Homes
  • HOPE Coalition (c/o UMass Memorial Community Benefits) – Expand hours and sites within the “HOPE Mental Health Model” to give more youth access to services
  • Jeremiah’s Inn – Residential substance abuse recovery program
  • L.U.K. Crisis Center, Inc. – Startup funds for the “Access Program” to increase access to group services for children, youth and young adults while they wait for individual services
  • Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation – The “Link” program for students in recovery and to assist with building a peer mentoring model
  • Natick Service Council – Substance awareness program for adolescents
  • Open Sky (Alternatives and The Bridge) – The expansion of the “Safe Homes” program for LGBTQ youth in the Fitchburg/Leominster area
  • Our Father’s House – Support for a part-time case manager for opioid-addicted males in recovery and to offer recovery coach training to two managers
  • Pernet Family Health Service – Increase access to mental health services for low income children and youth living in Pernet’s Worcester-based service area
  • Rainbow Child Development Center – “Healthy Minds for Healthy Lives Program”
  • Rise Above – Support of pro-social opportunities that improve mental health and more for children in foster care
  • Shrewsbury Youth & Family Services – “Mental Health First Aid USA” trainings
  • South Middlesex Opportunity Council – Capital repairs needed at the Rhodes House recovery program for women in Millbury, MA
  • Spectrum Health Systems – Short-term transitional housing solutions for individuals in recovery from OUD/SUD
  • Tasks for Transit – “Single-Day WRTA Buss Pass Program” for individuals in need
  • The SHINE Initiative – Expand SWAT (Student Wellness Advisory Teams) teams and mental wellness programming to additional school districts
  • UMass Memorial Foundation – Support for the “Safe & Sound Program” effort to add a Spanish-speaking trauma coach to the UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center team
  • United Way of Central Massachusetts – “YouthConnect Worcester Program,” a collaborative, year-round and summer program offered to hundreds of low-income youth with embedded mental health clinicians available on site
  • Veterans Inc. – “Independence Hall Intensive Outpatient Program”
  • Visitation House – Drug awareness classes for pregnant and parenting residents and guests offered through AdCare
  • Wayside Youth & Family Support Network – TEMPO Young Adult Resource Center in Framingham, which provides groups and workshops that focus on substance use/abuse and prevention, on-site mental health support and pro social activities for young adults facing homelessness
  • Worcester Community Action Council – Staff training and positive parenting support for “Head Start/Early Head Start” and “Healthy Families of Southern Worcester County” participants
  • Worcester Youth Center – Opioid/Narcan training program to educate at-risk Worcester Youth regarding opioid overdose and interventions
  • YMCA of Central Massachusetts – Start up a new “Get Movin’” program at the YMCA’s Tri-County Community Branch in Southbridge

  • YOU, Inc. – Support the evidence-based “Nonviolent Crisis Intervention” training model through The Crisis Prevention Institute to help strengthen the skills and retention of valuable YOU, Inc. staff. This effort will improve the care of the children and youth being served through this trauma-informed training
  • YWCA Central Massachusetts – The creation of two, dedicated family counseling rooms through the YWCA’s “Salem Square Capital Project”

Click here to learn more about how you can GIVE to The Reliant Foundation

About Reliant Foundation

Established in 1988 as a public charity, the Reliant Foundation (formerly operated as the Reliant Medical Group Foundation) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of individuals of all ages in the Central and Metro West regions of Massachusetts. As a 501(c)3 charity, the Foundation offers grants to non-profit organizations within its service area for the purpose of supporting programs that battle critical public health issues like the opioid epidemic, children’s mental health and childhood obesity. For more information, please visit