A short seven-mile drive separates the splendor of Palm Beach Island from the reality of Riviera Beach. With a median income of $51,000 and a poverty rate of 19% — and rising — communities like Riviera Beach are not an anomaly in Palm Beach County. Further west in the agricultural area of The Glades, the poverty rate is as high as 40%.
“Within what is by any measure an affluent county lies a surprising, even shocking, number of areas whose residents suffer from food insecurity, homelessness and access to healthcare, among a number of other challenges,” says Jeffrey A. Stoops, Chair of the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties’ Board of Directors. “The needs are great and the Community Foundation makes it easy to give where you live — its staff takes care of all the research and administrative work to help you focus on what matters most: making a difference with your generosity.”
For over 50 years, donors have trusted the Community Foundation to help close the opportunity gaps. Through donor-directed
gifts, and competitive grantmaking and scholarships, the charity’s strategic philanthropy makes a difference on a broad swath of community issues, including hunger, housing, literacy, access to higher education, and more.
One of the most urgent issues currently facing the county is access to mental health care for children.
“The pandemic laid bare a collective vulnerability around mental health, which is especially poignant in our underserved communities,” says Danita R. DeHaney, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “It also intersects with every other major issue like homelessness, addiction, education, and the like. Thanks to the generosity of donors, we are using our convening power to help those without access to high-quality care.”
Two years ago, the Community Foundation teamed up with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County and the College of Social Work at Florida State University to bring an evidence-informed, cognitive behavioral therapy program called Rebound and Recovery to local children and teens. The initiative explains how emotions are connected to one’s thoughts and actions, and how to regulate them. To date, the program has been implemented in 14 Boys & Girls Clubs locations in Palm Beach County, with more than 1,400 young people completing the program.
“We are very blessed with the number of individuals that support the Foundation’s important work in funding nonprofits that provide access to essential services many of us take for granted,” Stoops says. “They trust the Community Foundation to help find and implement solutions that reach the greatest number of those in need.”
So, how can members of our community help close the disparity gaps that exist within our corner of paradise? The answer is simple: Join the Community Foundation and give where you live.
For more information visit yourcommunityfoundation.org.