Kristina Peters, director of Corrections at the FTHRA, said the grant program, called the Community Investment Grant Program, started in 2000 as a way to “give back” to other nonprofit agencies in the community. The funds come from probation money left over after the misdemeanor probation program meets its budget.
“Originally it was established as a way to give back to other nonprofit organizations within the community by making monetary grants available using excess probation funds generated throughout the fiscal year,” Peters said. In 2013 and 2014, the grant program was expanded to include schools and local city and county governments and courthouses.
“By funding projects within the service areas, the misdemeanor probation program of First Tennessee Human Resource Agency strives to contribute to helping develop better community resources by providing financial assistance for one-time program projects and re-investing in the vital institutions within the communities we serve,” Peters said.
Since its inception, the CIGP has awarded more than $100,000 in grants to agencies in Washington, Greene and Johnson counties. Each year the grant money available varies, Peters said, and has been as high as $30,000.
This fiscal year the FTHRA had $10,000 available for the grants. Agencies applied and were chosen by a three-member team independent of FTHRA.
Recipients of grants this year and the amount awarded were:
• FTHRA's Meals on Wheels program — $2,000
• Frontier Health: Family Links Respite — $1,250
• Safe Families for Children — $1,500
• FTHRA's Safe Passage — $1,250
• Coalition for Kids — $1,500
• 2nd Harvest Food Bank — $1,000
• Boys and Girls Club — $1,500
The grant checks were distributed Feb. 10 during a brief ceremony at the George Jaynes Justice Center and were handed out by Sessions Court Judges Robert Lincoln, James Nidiffer and Don Arnold.