HRDC Receives $5 Million Bezos Day 1 Families Fund Grant to Help End Homelessness for Families in Montana

Tuesday Nov. 22nd, 2022

BOZEMAN - HRDC, which provides shelter and robust wraparound services for families and individuals facing homelessness in Southwest Montana, today announced that it has received a $5 million grant from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund—the largest gift in the organization’s 48-year history. Launched in 2018 by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to leading organizations on the frontlines that are employing compassionate, needle-moving work to help families move from unsheltered homelessness and shelters to permanent housing with the services they require to achieve stability.

“This generous grant will allow HRDC to continue to pioneer creative solutions to address the lack of accessible housing and homelessness in our community while ensuring we meet the individual needs of our most vulnerable neighbors,” said HRDC’s CEO Heather Grenier. “Many Montana families are struggling to secure basic shelter and necessary support; with this grant we will be able to meet immediate needs and create lasting solutions that will help them regain stability in their lives.”

This one-time grant will help HRDC in its tireless work to support families as they reel from skyrocketing rent costs, the limited availability of housing and insufficient income.

HRDC was selected as a Day 1 Families Fund grant recipient by a group of national advisors who are leading advocates and experts on homelessness and service provision. National advisors brought expertise on housing justice, advancing racial equity and helping programs employ resources effectively to assist families out of homelessness.

Over the past five years, the Day 1 Families Fund has provided 170 grants totaling more than $520 million to organizations around the country working to combat homelessness and help families gain housing support and stability. This year, the Fund issued a total of $123.45 million in grants to the following organizations: Carpenter's Shelter; CATCH, Inc.; Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona; The Center for Women and Families; Changing Homelessness; Chapman Partnership; Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County; Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County,

HRDC plans to use the grant funds to construct family-specific shelter space and to create more transitional and permanent housing solutions, provide full wrap-around services and identify tailored solutions to the individual needs of the families and individuals in their care working to create a pathway to a brighter future.

Kristin Hamburg, HRDC’s development director, shared the importance of the timing of this gift: “We are so grateful for this incredibly impactful investment. Thanks to the Day 1 Families Fund’s belief in our community, staff and customers, we are closer to being able to relocate the services we offer our neighbors experiencing homelessness to a single, more accessible location. It also provides the resources needed to address the needs of families experiencing homelessness.”

The Bezos Day One Fund made a $2 billion commitment to focus on making meaningful and lasting impacts in two areas: funding existing non-profits that help families experiencing homelessness, and creating a network of new, non-profit tier-one preschools in low-income communities. The Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families. The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary’s Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside. For more information, visit www.BezosDayOneFund.org/Day1FamiliesFund.

About HRDC

HRDC is a private not-for-profit Community Action Agency focused on building a better community. Through its nearly 50 service offerings, HRDC combats poverty and homelessness across southwestern Montana and believes everyone deserves the resources needed to care for themselves and their families as well as access to long-term solutions that allow them to regain their stability. Learn more at thehrdc.org.