Alliance Healthcare Foundation Awards $1M in Mission Support Grants to San Diego, Imperial County Non-profits Serving Most Vulnerable Populations

Imperial County Continuum of Care Council, Imperial Valley LGBT Resource Center, and San Diego Center for Children are first-time recipients

PRESS RELEASE–San Diego, March 21, 2018 – For the ninth consecutive year, Alliance Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has awarded Mission Support grants to nonprofit organizations committed to advancing health and wellness in San Diego and Imperial Counties.

The recipients were selected March 16, 2018, after a detailed application and selection process that began in fall 2017.

The 2018 recipients in San Diego County are: Angels Foster Family Network, Bastyr University, Casa de Amparo, ElderHelp of San Diego, Embrace, Environmental Health Coalition, Just In Time for Foster Youth, Monarch School Project, Multicultural Health Foundation, Neighborhood House Association, San Diego Center for Children, San Diego Hunger Coalition, UCSD Student Run Free Clinic, and Voices for Children.

In Imperial County, the 2018 Mission Support grant recipients are: Cancer Resource Center of the Desert, Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Imperial County, Imperial Valley Continuum of Care Council, Imperial Valley Food Bank, Imperial Valley LGBT Resource Center, and Neighborhood House of Calexico, Inc.

“Through the Mission Support Grant program, AHF aims to provide funding to organizations that advance health and wellness for those in need. Grants are awarded to nonprofits in San Diego and Imperial Counties who serve the most vulnerable of our populations: the poor, children, elderly and the homeless,” said Elizabeth Dreicer, Interim AHF Executive Director. “The 2018 Mission Support Grant amounts range from $25,000 to $100,000 per recipient, totaling $1 million. These 21 organizations can use the funding we provide as they see fit, allowing them to apply the grant in a way that best meets the most pressing needs of the people they serve.”

“Our Mission Support Grants program continues to provide core operating support to organizations working to improve the health and wellness of underserved populations in San Diego and Imperial Counties,” said Interim AHF Board Chair, Dr. Joe Ramsdell.

Don Wells, Executive Director of Just In Time For Foster Youth explains, “Through AHF’s core operating grant Mission Support Program, AHF models what mission-driven collaboration looks like. This program allows us to be more adaptive to the evolving needs of the transitioning foster youth we serve daily. We’re encouraged to spend our time thinking about what works, not what’s likely to get funded.”

According to Sean Sheppard, Founder & CEO, Embrace, “This investment significantly enhances our organization’s trajectory and ability to positively impact health and wellness by expanding our Game Changer—law enforcement and community relations model violence reduction—Program.  In short, it’s a Game Changer.”

Cindy Alba, Interim Executive Director of Calexico Neighborhood House adds, “To create a safe haven for homeless children and women, to create space for women’s’ voices, and to encourage compassion is our highest priority. The support from the Alliance Healthcare Foundation enables Calexico Neighborhood House to continue and grow in its mission.”

Further, according to John Valencia, President & CEO of Voices for Children, “Support from the Alliance Healthcare Foundation will allow Voices for Children to improve the health and well-being of children living in San Diego County foster care. Our CASA volunteers learn about their case child’s needs and advocate for their best interest, including important therapy, medical treatments, and life-saving surgeries. With the support of a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), foster children are more likely to receive the vital services they need to grow, develop, and thrive.”

“Funds from the Mission Support Grant will be used to assist us in recruiting, training, and approving families to foster young children ages newborn to five year old, while supporting our current families.  Additionally, funding will support efforts to increase our visibility throughout the San Diego Community,” said Jeff Wiemann, Executive Director, Angels Foster Family Network.

According to Moisés Barón, Ph.D., President and CEO, “This grant will allow the San Diego Center for Children to improve access, timely care and a more effective, family-centered treatment approach for children, teens and their families who are struggling with mental, emotional or behavioral health disorders… help[ing] our organization better address the poor outcomes currently associated with the health and well-being of at-risk, transition age youth… becoming independent, successful adults.”

Finally, “One of our participants once said that he had a dream when he left foster care, yet lacked the means to achieve it without the critical resources and relationship support he thankfully received from us,” said Don Wells, Executive Director, Just in Time for Foster Youth, “The Mission Support funding from AHF is the same sort of investment, providing the means, inspiring confidence, and allowing us the flexibility to create responsive, innovative services that are essential for the youth we serve.”

AHF’s Mission Support program objectives are to seek, support and trust organizations that are closest to those we aim to serve by providing core operating support to advance our mission and do the most good for the most people—the individuals and families that your organizations support. This is a tall order as AHF estimates that, there are 1.3 million individuals in San Diego and Imperial Counties who live below the self-sufficiency rate. (The Self-Sufficiency Standard measures how much income a family of a certain composition in a given place needs to adequately meet their basic needs—without public or private assistance. SOURCES:  The 2016 American Community Survey, CPI and

“We look forward to working with the 2018 Mission Support grantees,” Dreicer said. “It’s vital to our mission to support great organizations. AHF recognizes that our limited capital is insufficient to meet the current needs. Consequently, we and other funders—both public and private—must continue to work to evolve our current paradigm.”

To learn more about Alliance Healthcare Foundation’s Mission Support Grant program, visit

About Alliance Healthcare Foundation

Alliance Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is a San Diego-based foundation that works with nonprofit, government and community agencies to advance health and wellness throughout the San Diego and Imperial Counties. AHF works to serve the most vulnerable—the poor, working poor, children, elderly and the homeless—by providing grants, advocacy and education to support its region. AHF envisions a San Diego and Imperial County region where equitable health resources lead to universal health and well-being. AHF believes all people have a desire to be well. Wellness is a state of complete physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Wellness is personal and is not the same for everyone. Individuals need information and support to make positive choices for a more successful existence.

AHF currently operates a portfolio of 5 programs: I2 is our “innovation initiative”, also referred to as “venture philanthropy”—based on the thesis that innovation capital (often high risk, high reward) is needed to transform our current paradigm and improve quality, increase capacity and reduce costs; Mission Support—based on the thesis that trusting those closest to our constituents and providing core operating support for great organizations will best advance our mission; Responsive Grants—based on the thesis that it is important to be responsive to time sensitive community needs and opportunities; InvestUp—based on the thesis that it is important to actively and strategically be looking for ways to meaningfully advance our mission and it is worth spending some or all of our corpus—beyond the earnings off of our endowment if we can substantively and sustainability positively change the dynamics; and, Program Related Investments—also referred to as “impact investments” is based on the thesis that we can activate our investment portfolio to achieve more positive impact.