BECU Foundation Grant Programs Update
Recipients of BECU Foundation’s newest grant programs are driving positive change — implementing initiatives focused on combatting homelessness and reducing our collective carbon footprint.
The BECU Foundation is dedicated to improving the well-being of all people in our communities through innovative, compassionate solutions. Introduced in 2022, the foundation's newest programs — The Housing Stability Grant and Green Equity Initiative Grants — are driving positive change and addressing critical needs in our communities.
Working To Prevent Homelessness
The Housing Stability Grant Program is focused on combatting hardships that contribute to homelessness. In the program's inaugural year, eight local nonprofit organizations were awarded grants of $100,000 each. Recipients are directing funds to areas focused on preventing homeowner foreclosure and renter eviction, including:
- Mortgage or rent payment assistance to aid with loss of income and/or owing back mortgage.
- Foreclosure or eviction prevention and diversion counseling.
- Mediation between landlords and tenants
- Case management (as part of housing stability).
- Legal services or attorney's fees related to foreclosure or eviction proceedings and maintaining housing.
- Specialized services for individuals with disabilities or seniors.
- Fair housing counseling.
The 2022 Housing Stability Grant recipients include:
Homeowner Foreclosure Prevention
- Northwest Justice Project: Provides free legal assistance to address fundamental human needs such as housing, family safety, income security, health care and education in Washington state.
- Rebuilding Together South Sound: Repairs homes and nonprofit facilities in Seattle's South Sound.
- SNAP Financial Access: Delivers financial education, training, consultation, and access to loans to help entrepreneurs and first-time borrowers succeed in Spokane, Washington.
Renter Eviction Prevention
- Byrd Barr Place: Offers essential services such as food, shelter, warmth and financial tools for neighbors in Seattle's Central District to build stability and self-sufficiency.
- El Centro de la Raza: Builds community in Washington state through unifying all racial and economic sectors, organizing and defending the basic human rights of vulnerable and marginalized populations, and bringing critical consciousness, justice, dignity and equity to all the peoples of the world.
- Housing Justice Project (King County Bar Association): Provides free legal help to renters in King County, Washington who are at risk of eviction.
- Multi-Service Center: Addresses the causes and barriers of poverty and homelessness in Federal Way, Washington with comprehensive and holistic services that help lift people from crisis and vulnerability.
- Solid Ground: Works to end poverty and undo racism and other oppressions that are the root causes of poverty in Seattle.
Powering Environmental Sustainability
The Green Equity Initiative Program is aimed at reducing our region's collective carbon footprint through green workforce development and entrepreneurship. In 2022, nine local nonprofits were awarded grants from $50,000 to $150,000 to aid efforts to address climate change, elevate circular innovation (waste-to-use) and promote workforce development focused on renewable energy.
Funds are being applied to a variety of areas, including:
- Administrative and program costs associated with helping start micro businesses.
- Social enterprise accelerators for emerging entrepreneurs and small business owners.
- Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) workers and business growth in the construction and green energy industry.
- Pitch competitions for students and startup businesses on PreCycle, Circular Innovation, and renewable energy projects and tools.
The 2022 Green Equity Initiative grant recipients and funded projects include:
Addressing Climate Change:
- Washington Wild (Indigenous Climate Impacts Oral History): Produce 15 three- to five-minute video interviews with tribal elders and leaders, in collaboration with This Is Indian Country.
- EarthGen (Expanding Youth Climate Science Education and Action Through Technology): Expand access to climate science education and action for K-12 students in Washington state, helping advance environmental solutions with the implementation of technology.
- Our Climate (Empowering Young Climate Justice Leaders in Washington): Create a structured curriculum gearing young people across Washington to become powerful climate advocates.
Elevating Circular Innovation:
- Refugee Artisan Initiative (Coffee Bag Reuse: Upcycled Rollstock Portable Outdoor Gear) Project aimed at diverting coffee bags from landfills by upcycling them into a diverse portfolio of household products.
- Bike Works (Bike Works Recycle & Reuse Expansion & Support): Support the growth and effectiveness of its Recycle & Reuse initiative, which processes between 7,000-8,000 bike donations per year for use in its youth and adult programs, free bike giveaways and social enterprise bike shop.
Supporting Workforce Development Focused on Renewable Energy:
- Black Farmers Collective (Stewarding the Next Generation of Black Farmers): Support its vision of stewarding a new generation of Black farmers, bridging gaps in current food systems, striving toward food sovereignty and Black liberation.
- Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship (The North Olympic Peninsula Green Equity Accelerator): Pilot a social enterprise accelerator for emerging social entrepreneurs in marginalized and BIPOC rural communities.
- Emerald Cities Collaborative (E-Contractor Program): Provide small minority construction businesses with comprehensive training, support services and business opportunities to enable rapid and profitable growth, particularly within the clean and renewable energy sector.
- Harbor WildWatch (Developing the Next Generation of Environmental Sustainability Professionals): Support the implementation of a new internship program that will reduce access barriers for BIPOC and marginalized students with the goal of providing the experience needed to secure first jobs in the field of environmental sustainability.
Learn more about the Green Equity Initiative and Housing Stability grant programs – and meet two of our 2022 grantees. See how they're helping families and individuals in our communities thrive.