About the fund

The Safety Net Fund supports BCF’s Safety Net Grant Program, which provides crucial funding to organizations supporting essential services such as food access, housing assistance, utilities assistance, mental health care programs, childcare, health care access, and more. Grantmaking from this fund is designed to be flexible and responsive, allowing BCF and our partners to quickly respond to emerging and ongoing community needs, provide grants to address essential needs gaps impacting our neighbors, and award funding to scale and sustain vital services.

Fund history

Established in 1994, the Safety Net Fund began as a dedicated fund supporting the Safety Net Program, which is run by the Brookline Center for Community Mental Health. The Safety Net Program provides immediate mental healthcare support and wrap-around supportive programming such as rental assistance, utility payments, food access, public benefit enrollment, continuing education, childcare, and more. Additionally, the Brookline Center also provides direct cash assistance to individuals and families to prevent unexpected financial strains, such as a larger-than-expected heating bill, from becoming destabilizing crises, and instead help set community members on the path to economic stability. The Safety Net Program’s financial assistance is embedded within a broader support system; The Brookline Center’s case managers pair this immediate financial support with an array of therapeutic services and referral to community resources that promote long-term stability and health.

In 2020, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, BCF scaled fundraising for the Safety Net Grant Program and began awarding grants to other essential service organizations in Brookline such as the Food Pantry and the Brookline Housing Authority while continuing to fund the Brookline Center’s vital programming. Our goal is to continue supporting organizations that are providing access to essential resources and services, and scale grantmaking to sustainably expand capacity and access to these services for our entire community.

Further information

For more information on the BCF Safety Net Fund, please contact the BCF development team.

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