The Foundation funds in four broad areas Mark and Robin consider essential to a thriving region.
The Foundation is interested in supporting the provision of shelter for people who need it. Work in this area may include (but is not limited to) shelter for people experiencing homelessness, homeless prevention services, affordable housing, and home ownership for low-income residents.
Housing costs in the area are 39% of income, well above the suggested 30% rate.
There are almost 1,000 homeless students in the local school districts.
The Foundation is interested in supporting the provision of basic needs to people who need it. This work may include the direct provision of food, as well as efforts to address food insecurity.
37,000 people in Kane County lack sufficient access to healthy food, of which 12,000 were children.
Many residents make slightly more income than the level required to qualify for public benefits.
The Foundation is committed to high-quality education opportunities that prepare young people in the Elgin and Dundee area for success in their lives and careers. This work may include (but is not limited to) early childhood education, K-12 programming, after school programs, and community colleges.
33% of Elgin’s adult population have an Associate’s degree or higher, well below the statewide average of 51%.
61% of students in the local district are low income, well above the statewide average of 48%.
The Foundation believes that communities and people flourish when a strong arts and culture sector serves to unify, entertain, and enlighten.
Over 10% of the workforce in the area are employed in the Arts.
Nationwide, low-income students who participate in the Arts are five times less likely than their peers to drop out of school.