The Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery have amassed $200,000 in emergency grant funding to keep the nursery open beyond its threatened June 30 closure, said Heidy Kellison, president of the all-volunteer group, on Tuesday.
“We still need to meet our commitment to $100,000 in individual contributions, but the grant funding is a huge step in saving the nursery,” she said. “Our deepest gratitude goes out to Woodland Healthcare and the Kelly Foundation, which each are giving $50,000, and to the Yolo Board of Supervisors, who have committed to $80,000. Two other family foundations are anonymously adding $10,000 apiece. It’s phenomenal.”
Individual contributions are now being doubled by a challenge grant issued by Mohini Jain, a retired schoolteacher. Jain will match dollar for dollar up to $12,500 before the June 15 deadline.
“When that is matched, we will have exceeded our $100,000 goal for individual donations,” Kellison said. “
The simplest way to help is to visit www.friendsofycn.org and click on “Donate Now.” Donors may also write a check, payable to Yolo County Children’s Alliance with Yolo Crisis Nursery written in the notation, and mail it c/o Heidy Kellison, 1532 Rialto Lane, Davis, 95618.
Approximately $408,000 is needed to run the nursery for the 2014-15 fiscal year, Kellison said. Given the new grants, it’s likely that FamiliesFirst, which currently manages the nursery on a quiet residential street in Davis, will continue operations until a new host agency can take over, she said.
The grants were announced at Tuesday’s meeting of the Yolo supervisors.
“The Yolo Crisis Nursery is a unique and valuable asset in our community and over the years has prevented thousands of child abuse and neglect emergencies,” said Kevin Vaziri, president of Woodland Healthcare.
“Woodland Healthcare is pleased to be able to support the Yolo Crisis Nursery, and proud to be a part of the major community and county effort underway to make certain the organization is sustainable for many years to come,” he said.
The supervisors voted 4-1, with Max Rexroad dissenting (Supervisor Rexroad supports the nursery but wanted funds to be general funds, not Pomona funds) , to appropriate $40,000 in Pomona Funds to the nursery for 2014-15. Another $40,000 will be earmarked for the nursery upon identification of a host agency, something that the Friends are actively working toward.
“In a way this is an investment in hope,” said Don Saylor, chair of the Supervisors. He had seconded Supervisor Jim Provenza motion to allocate the funds, including a provision that calls for regular accountability by the nursery’s host agency.
YCN’s mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect by keeping the youngest and most vulnerable children, birth to age 5, safe during times of family crisis. The nursery provides emergency respite care for children when their families are facing crisis or hardship, providing a safe, home-like environment and supervision for children day or night. Families are also supported to connect with community resources to reduce isolation, lower stress levels and resolve the crisis or hardship.
On average, the nursery serves about 300 children and their families every year.