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Two large grant-making foundations in Colorado Springs recently distributed more than $2 million to community nonprofits.

The Colorado Springs Health Foundation awarded 23 organizations in El Paso and Teller counties a collective $1.5 million to fund programs for housing, education, employment and economic stability.

“We recognize that health is driven by many factors, not just health care,” said R. Thayer Tutt Jr., board chair.

The organization formed in 2012 through the city of Colorado Springs’s lease of Memorial Health System to UCHealth, to provide grants that target immediate health care needs and encourage healthy living.

The areas of this funding cycle aren’t the organization’s normal focus, said Executive Director Cari Davis.

“But non-clinical social determinants are key factors in any community’s health,” she said.

The largest grant of $500,000 went to the Pikes Peak Real Estate Foundation, a pooled fund of donations the Pikes Peak Community Foundation oversees to help the city build 1,000 affordable housing units annually.

Joint Initiatives for Youth and Families received $193,000 for the Early Childhood Employment and Opportunity Project, and Cripple Creek-Victor School District RE-1 was awarded $150,000 toward building a new vocational-technical center that’s under construction for trades training.

Other recipients address a variety of community needs, from the Southern Colorado AIDS Project’s transitional housing program, to jobs and vocational training for former inmates through the Center for Employment Opportunities, to programs for homeless adults and teens at several local organizations.

El Pomar Foundation, one of the largest and oldest foundations in Colorado, is allocating another $552,950 in Colorado Assistance Fund grants to nonprofits that produce cultural community events, festivals and venues statewide.

The fund is activated in times of emergencies and crises, and made distributions to 245 nonprofits and municipal organizations totaling $3.1 million in March, April and November of 2020.

Those monies primarily supported immediate needs such as food distribution, housing assistance and other human services.

The current cycle, designed to fund projects that “contribute to building connection and reigniting economic vitality,” brings the total disbursements of financial contributions since the beginning of the pandemic to $3,652,950.

The Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival, which received $10,000, is presenting an in-person festival Nov. 12-14 at the Pikes Peak Center and a virtual event the following weekend.

“We are very excited to be downtown and look forward to partnering with local restaurants and businesses in the area,” Executive Director Linda Broker said in a news release.

Grants in the Pikes Peak region will help fund such activities as burro races, a Christmas tea, Apex races, parades and other activities.

This content was originally published here.