Tri-County Community Action Agency, an established community organization focused on reducing the number of families living in poverty, Wednesday announced that it has been selected to receive a $2.5 million grant from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund—the largest private grant in Tri-County Community Action Agency’s history.

Launched in 2018 by Amazon founder and executive chair Jeff Bezos, 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.

“Tri-County Community Action Agency is delighted to receive funding from the Day 1 Families Fund. This will make a lasting impact on the communities we serve and more importantly assist us in reducing the number of families who are facing homelessness. More times than not, homelessness in rural communities is overlooked because it looks different, but what we know is that rural Virginia has a homeless problem,” said Petrina Carter, president and CEO of Tri-County Community Action Agency. “This is a wonderful day for the communities we serve.”

This one-time grant will allow Tri-County Community Action Agency to expand services to stabilize homeless families after they are rehoused.

It also will help the agency advance its strategic goal to partner with organizations to expand affordable housing options in the communities it serves, helping more families find a place to live with rent they can afford.

Tri-County Community Action Agency hopes to, when successful, be a model for other communities as they move families from homeless to hopeful.

Tri-County Community Action Agency was selected as a Day 1 Families Fund grant recipient by an independent advisory board comprised of homelessness experts with experience in policy, advocacy, racial equity, child welfare and housing and service delivery, as well as firsthand experience in homelessness.

This year, the Day 1 Families Fund issued a total of $96.2 million in grants to 32 organizations across the country.

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.

Since 2018, the Day 1 Families Fund has issued 130 grants totaling more than $398 million to organizations around the country working to combat homelessness and help families gain housing support and stability.

The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary’s Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside.

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