AACI gets $2.5 million Bezos Fund grant to end homelessness

Grant will help hundreds of California families, says Sarita Kohli, Indian American President and CEO of AACI

Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) serving marginalized and ethnic communities is getting a $2.5 million grant from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund to help end homelessness in California’s Santa Clara County.

Support from the Day 1 Families Fund will make it possible for hundreds of families to be healthy and thrive,” said Sarita Kohli, Indian American President and CEO of AACI in a press release.

“Stable housing significantly improves the physical and mental health of our community members; particularly for survivors of domestic violence, stable housing brings safety and dignity and sets them on the path to self-sufficiency,” she said.

Read: GCI Planet raises funds for kids’ hospitals, orphanages in 40 nations (October 8, 2021)

Launched in 2018 by Amazon founder and executive chair Jeff Bezos, the Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families.

This one-time grant will allow AACI to pilot an integrated approach to providing housing services for all clients, ensuring that the organization’s Asian Women’s Home program can continue helping survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking while expanding to meet the housing needs of low-income families in AACI’s Health Center, Behavioral Health and Wellness programs, the release said.

AACI was selected as a Day 1 Families Fund grant recipient by an independent advisory board comprised of homelessness experts with experience in policy, advocacy, racial equity, child welfare and housing and service delivery, as well as firsthand experience in homelessness, it said.

This year, the Day 1 Families Fund issued a total of $96.2 million in grants to 32 organizations across America.

“Our AACI Asian Women’s Home program serves survivors of domestic violence or human trafficking who often have limited options that deter them from leaving an abusive relationship due to increasing scarcity of affordable housing in the Silicon Valley,” said Ganlin Chen, AACI Asian Women’s Home Shelter Manager.

“At AACI, we will continue to open new paths for those faced with homelessness so they may escape abuse and secure a safe and peaceful living environment where they can flourish,” she said.

Read: AACI Receives $2.5 Million Bezos Day 1 Families Fund Grant to Help End Homelessness for Families in California’s Santa Clara County (November 17, 2021)

AACI’s mission is to strengthen the resilience and hope of its diverse community members by improving their health and well-being, the release said. Its many programs provide care that goes beyond just health, but also provides people a sense of hope and new possibilities.

Current programs include behavioral and primary health services, substance abuse prevention and treatment, center for survivors of torture, shelter and services for survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, senior wellness, youth programs, and community advocacy.

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