Chan Zuckerberg Initiative for the third consecutive year is looking to support communities in the southern part of San Mateo County by awarding grants to organizations working on issues of education, housing, homelessness, immigration, mental health and more.

Dubbed the CZI Community Fund, the grants range from $25,000 to $100,000 and are available to organizations serving Redwood City, where CZI is headquartered, as well as the nearby communities of Belle Haven, East Palo Alto and North Fair Oaks. The application period began Aug. 13 and concludes Sept. 12. 

“San Mateo County is our home and we are committed to supporting our community here,” Director Christina Huezo said in a statement. “Through the CZI Community Fund, we’re proud to assist local organizations that work tirelessly to support our neighbors and strengthen the community.”

Since the launch of the Community Fund, CZI has given grants to more than 60 local organizations, including the Ecumencical Hunger Program, which provides hot meals, legal assistance and other services in East Palo Alto; ProjectWeHOPE, which manages a 55-bed homeless shelter and Adolescent Counseling Services, which provides counseling and crisis intervention services for teens and young adults.    

Grantees will be announced in January 2020 and CZI will also assist them with “capacity building support and programming to strengthen partnerships and foster collaboration,” according to a press release.

Huezo said the Community Fund was born out of conversations with local leaders and residents. 

“The vision for the CZI Community Fund was built out of conversations with local leaders and community members,” she said. “We wanted to create a dedicated program to support community-driven solutions and help local groups expand their reach and deepen their impact.”

The philanthropic organization was founded by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan in 2015. CZI’s new headquarters at 2075 Broadway will include a meeting space open to the community free of charge and is expected to open early 2020.

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