Community Collaboration: Local Nonprofit the Front Porch Receives $160K Grant

On Friday, Aug. 19, local nonprofit the Front Porch held a press conference to announce their receipt of a $158,798.16 grant award from the Prevention and Community Support Section of the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services. Established in 2019, the Front Porch is a community-based risk reduction program that identifies children and families who are at risk of becoming involved with the juvenile court system, providing them with support and services to divert them away from the juvenile court and ensure positive outcomes. The grant award increases the Front Porch’s operating budget by 60%, which provides additional funds that will be used in a variety of ways to help the nonprofit achieve its mission. 

“This grant is going to provide funding to pay for a full time family resource case manager and a full time family engagement and activities coordinator, operating expenses, community outreach, support supplies for eleven community engagement activities and support of prosocial activities, like our step team, for youth,” said the Front Porch Director Anne Robinson. 

The Front Porch collaborates with several other local nonprofits and organizations to serve teens, children and families throughout Chatham county. This collaboration is facilitated by an interagency oversight group, which is chaired by Jill Cheeks of the Mediation Center. There are 16 agencies that are a part of the IOG and partner with the Front Porch to deliver resources and services to families who need them. These agencies include the City of Savannah, the Chatham County Juvenile Court, the Savannah Chatham County Public School System, The State of Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, St. Joseph’s/Candler, the Deep Center, and Family Promise of the Coastal Empire among others. 

“Often a child may be in need and there’s multiple partners in the community that they need to interface with, so we’ve created the Front Porch so it can be a one-stop shop for the families. They can be assessed here and then figure out what other agencies can support their family. So the Front Porch case managers help manage all of that with and for the family, so that they’re not going place to place trying to figure all of this out,” said Cheeks.

Community collaboration is the cornerstone of IOG, and together, these agencies assist the Front Porch in serving at-risk families and youth. As a multi-agency resource center, the Front Porch relies on connections within the community, and the community celebrates this big win for the nonprofit. 

“So often, we hear of communities that are working in silos, and this grant award demonstrates the confidence the funder has in Chatham county agencies to collaborate in the best interest of our families,” Cheeks explained. “Chatham county keeps coming up as a tremendous community that works together,” she added. 

Many local figures and leaders came out to the press conference to celebrate the award. Attendees included several nonprofit executive directors, Chatham County Commissioners Chairman Chester Ellis, Assistant Police Chief Robert Gavin, and Mayor Van Johnson among others. 

“It is certainly good to be here to celebrate. When good things happen to good people, the village rejoices. The city is glad to be a part of this. . . We’re glad that you’re certainly providing a place for young people to be able to come and be engaged and to address the needs they deal with,” remarked Mayor Johnson.  

The grant clearly represents a victory for the Front Porch that will benefit countless families in need throughout Chatham County. To learn more about the Front Porch, visit them on Facebook @TFPSavannah. 

About The Author

Chantel Britton

Chantel Britton is a compelling storyteller with an ever-growing curiosity. She's built a rewarding writing career for herself in addition to serving five years as a Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. She's an NPR nerd with a deep passion for all things travel, sustainable living and adventure. She...
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