Access Awarded 2024 Inaugural Systems Change Grant to Combat Child Poverty in Eastern Connecticut

Access Awarded 2024 Inaugural Systems Change Grant to Combat Child Poverty in Eastern Connecticut

Access Community Action Agency has been awarded $200,000 by the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut to reimagine homeownership pathways for families in Northeastern Connecticut. This initiative, focused on Windham County, involves partnerships that will provide homeownership counseling services, education, and support.
The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut is dedicated to funding “systems change” initiatives that aim to end child poverty in the region. As part of this mission, the Foundation has announced grants totaling $305,765 over two years to Access and Partnership for Strong Communities. These grants will help address systemic challenges that contribute to child poverty in Eastern Connecticut.

In collaboration with Habitat for Humanity and the Northeastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, Access is launching the “Accessing Homeownership Education Center.” This center will offer financial literacy workshops and homeownership counseling, and will bring together regional stakeholders from the real estate, mortgage, banking, and housing development sectors. The goal is to foster collaboration and enhance understanding of the benefits of comprehensive homebuyer education. “Homeownership promotes wealth building and can improve educational outcomes for children,” noted Kathleen Krider, Senior Director of Community Engagement at Access.

The Community Foundation has been spearheading the “End Child Poverty Now” campaign, a collaborative of over 50 organizations. This collaborative envisions a thriving, economically robust Connecticut where no child suffers from poverty. They advocate for every child’s right to basic necessities, quality education, and a nurturing environment that supports their growth in all aspects. Advocacy partners work with lawmakers and policy influencers to promote policies that tackle the root causes of child poverty, such as income inequality, access to healthcare, safe and affordable housing, and quality education. “We believe that systemic solutions are required to address the current housing affordability crisis for families. These two grantees will work collaboratively with many partners to create innovative ways to overcome barriers to stable family housing in Eastern Connecticut,” says Maryam Elahi, Community Foundation President and CEO.

Serving 42 towns and comprised of over 600 charitable funds, the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut’s vision is a healthy, thriving, sustainable Eastern Connecticut with greater equity for all. The Community Foundation collaborates with partners to put philanthropy into action to address the needs, rights and interests of our community in Eastern Connecticut. The Community Foundation manages a permanent community endowment and has awarded over $98 million in grants and scholarships to nonprofits and students since its founding in 1983. To learn more, visit

Access Community Action Agency is designated by the federal and state government as the anti-poverty agency in northeast Connecticut. Access provides food, affordable housing, job readiness services, and other pathways to economic self-reliance for vulnerable limited-income families and individuals throughout the region. Learn more about Access by visiting


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