Local community foundations have invested $32,000 with the Gulf Coast Partnership (GCP) to create a community-wide landlord engagement strategy. The funding will help the GCP establish a pool of safe, affordable rental units for women who are suffering from homelessness.

“We consider the process a long-term investment that will pay off,” said Angela Hogan, Gulf Coast Partnership’s CEO. “We need to find innovative ways to engage with landlords and find quality housing options for vulnerable members of our community.”

Grants of $22,000 from Gulf Coast Community Foundation and $10,000 from the Charlotte Community Foundation will get the project off the ground. The Gulf Coast grant was awarded from the Miriam P. Raines Charitable Fund, an endowment at the foundation that has been helping women since 2015. “We are honoring her legacy by empowering women in Charlotte County,” said Jennifer Johnston, Senior Community Investment Officer at Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

“The Charlotte Community Foundation was proud participate in this effort in collaboration with other funders to create a Landlord Engagement position for Charlotte County. It will allow more opportunities with less frustrations to those at-risk in need of housing by eliminating barriers through a more seamless process. Through initiatives like this, perhaps one day in the near future, more will be afforded the opportunity to find attainable housing.” Ashley Maher, Charlotte Community Foundation Executive Director.

Charlotte County’s rental market is increasingly unaffordable, with more selective landlords, rising rents, low vacancy rates, and a lack of housing options. The program will primarily serve unaccompanied and parenting young women, single mothers, those fleeing domestic violence, female homeless veterans, and seniors. Once fully operational, there will be an established pool of landlords who will share in a long-term partnership to provide safe and affordable housing.

The GCP’s Landlord Engagement Program will identify and recruit landlords, manage available rental housing inventory, create a roommate matching program, educate tenants and landlords on legal rights and responsibilities, and mediate housing related disputes.

About Gulf Coast Community Foundation

For 25 years, together with its donors, Gulf Coast Community Foundation has transformed our region through bold and proactive philanthropy. Gulf Coast is a public charity that was created in 1995 through the sale of the Venice Hospital. Since then, it has become the philanthropic home of nearly 1,000 families, individuals, organizations, and businesses that have established charitable funds there, and has invested over $350 million in grants in the areas of health and human services, civic and economic development, education, arts and culture, and the environment. Learn more at GulfCoastCF.org.

About Charlotte Community Foundation

The Charlotte Community Foundation — whose mission is “Connecting people who care with causes that matter” — is a center for philanthropy focusing exclusively on the needs of Charlotte County by providing personalized donor services to assist individuals in establishing tax advantageous charitable funds, which provide distributions, grants and other resources to support local nonprofits. For more info visit charlottecf.org

About Gulf Coast Partnership

The Gulf Coast Partnership is a community-wide initiative formed to understand community needs, identify best practices, and to forge community consensus to implement goals and strategies to raise the quality of life for all Charlotte County residents. To learn more about the Gulf Coast Partnership and what we are doing in the community, visit gulfcoastpartnership.org.