First Coast Relief Fund announces recipients of initial phase of ‘Healing Jax’ grantmaking

Jacksonville, Fla. (March 7, 2024) – The First Coast Relief Fund announced today the recipients of its initial phase of grantmaking from dollars raised through its Healing Jax effort. The 19 grant recipients include nonprofit and grassroots organizations working on direct community support and healing in the New Town and Grand Park neighborhoods. These grants represent dollars raised by the Relief Fund following the tragic, racially motivated shooting on Aug. 26, 2023.

Through this initial phase of grantmaking, the Relief Fund is distributing approximately $148,000. This grant opportunity provides funding for nonprofits and grassroots organizations up to $15,000 that are operating programs focused on direct community support and recovery including but not limited to: food security, community healing and mental health. The size of grants are anticipated to directly relate to the organization’s size, capacity and reach of services. The application opened in November and continues to receive applications at until the initial $250,000 worth of grant funds are depleted. 

The 19 grant recipients so far are:

Northwest Behavioral Health  $30,000 Mental health services
Family Foundations  $15,000 Mental health services
Feeding Northeast Florida  $15,000 Food
The Hub (@ Kings Road) $15,000 Youth enrichment, food
New Town Success Zone  $15,000 Food 
Edward Waters University Schell Sweet Center  $7,500 Senior support
Step by Step Help Foundation $7,500 Mental health services
32209 Experience Inc.  $5,000 Community healing
Jacksonville Community Action Committee  $5,000 Mental health services
Knowledge & Empowerment  $5,000 Food
Krumping 4 Success $5,000 Youth enrichment
New Town Oasis Marketplace  $5,000 Food 
Pearls of Perfection $5,000 Youth enrichment
We C.O.P.E.  $5,000 Community healing
Silent Women Speaking Foundation  $2,500 Community healing
Soyini Circle  $2,500 Youth enrichment
CARES Justice  $1,000 Food
Families of Slain Children $1,000 Food 
Greenwood 100 $1,000 Food 


This initial grantmaking phase followed thoughtful review from a grantmaking committee comprised of the partners in the First Coast Relief Fund. Before the grantmaking rounds, Relief Fund leaders participated in community conversations to learn about needs in the area after the shooting, which directly affected the New Town and Grand Park areas of Jacksonville.

Over the past several months, Relief Fund leadership have also spoken and met with grassroots organizations, government officials, faith leaders and nonprofits serving in these communities to assess short-term and long-term needs. These ongoing conversations continue to ensure duplication of services is reduced and the dollars raised will have the most impact possible. Relief Fund leadership have also spoken with other communities who have experienced similar human-caused crises.

“These grants are being awarded after thoughtful and community-informed conversations with nonprofit and grassroots organizations on the ground in New Town and Grand Park,” said James Ellout, vice president of community impact for United Way of Northeast Florida. “We know the organizations selected will make a significant step forward in supporting and healing these communities as well as know there is more work to be done.”

The shooting caused the closure of the Dollar General store, which provided some food access to the New Town and Grand Park neighborhoods. Residents of the area continue to express in community meetings the continued need for fresh food. In addition, residents see a continued need to address trauma from gun violence, which was also a concern even before the mass shooting that took the lives of three people.

In addition to this initial phase of grants, a total of $45,000 from the Relief Fund was awarded to several on-the-ground organizations who immediately stepped in to serve following the crisis, including some that were awarded second grants through the open process: Feeding Northeast Florida, Northwest Behavioral Health, Edward Waters University Schell Sweet Community Resource Center and The Hub (@ Kings Road). These dollars are helping replenish capacity of these organizations as well as support their future work in New Town and Grand Park.

“This initial round of grants is uplifting, but at the same time, we know more work and more grantmaking is ahead of us,” said Isaiah Oliver, president of The Community Foundation. “We look forward to continuing to take applications for this grant pool and seeing the results of this outpouring of generosity following such a tragic event.”

Originally conceptualized following the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando in 2016, the First Coast Relief Fund is a partnership of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida, United Way of Northeast Florida and United Way of St. Johns County. The Together Strong Community Fund is the newest partner in the collaboration, focused on combating the root causes of bias.

The Relief Fund has distributed more than $9.6 million since its inception in 2016. Response efforts to date include grants after Hurricane Matthew in 2016, Hurricane Irma in 2017 and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

A complete list of donors is available at




Please note: Applicants must represent a nonprofit or grassroots organization



The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support via phone for people in distress, including resources for you or your loved ones and best practices for professionals. Dial 9-8-8 on your phone, or visit

Additionally, United Way 211 is a free information and referral hotline available 24/7 to connect callers to emergency resources, including crisis response efforts. Dial 2-1-1 to connect with a call center specialist.





About United Way of Northeast Florida

Founded 100 years ago in 1924, United Way of Northeast Florida has earned a reputation as a respected and efficient philanthropic organization. United Way envisions a community of opportunity where everyone has hope and can reach their full potential.  The organization’s mission is to solve Northeast Florida’s toughest challenges by connecting people, resources and ideas. United Way focuses on improving economic mobility in the following impact areas: basic needs, financial well-being and racial equity. The nonprofit organization’s long tradition of addressing the human-service needs in Duval, Baker, Clay, Nassau and northern St. Johns counties is made possible through the commitment of thousands of volunteers, donors and community partners. 100 years of serving and uniting Northeast Florida was only the beginning. To learn more, visit, or follow United Way of Northeast Florida on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. 


About United Way of St. Johns County

United Way-SJC fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in St. Johns County. For 60 years, this has been done by strategically investing in quality programs, building partnerships, advocating for better policies, engaging the community and leveraging resources to focus on community problems that matter most. Success is measured not by dollars raised, but by lives improved and changed.


About The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida

The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, Florida’s oldest community foundation, works to stimulate philanthropy to build a better community. The Foundation helps donors invest their philanthropic gifts wisely, helps nonprofits serve the region effectively, and helps people come together to make the community a better place. Since its inception in 1964, the Foundation has accepted more than $1 billion in gifts and made more than $695 million in grants. For more information:


About the Jessie Ball duPont Fund

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund is a private foundation that works to expand access to opportunity and create inclusive growth for the people, organizations and communities that Jessie Ball duPont knew and loved. We envision a world in which every member of those communities feels they belong, and is engaged in shaping the future of their community. We use our grantmaking, investments, research and partnerships to increase equitable access to opportunities and resources for members of society who have historically been excluded, and placemaking to build stronger communities where all voices are heard and valued. Learn more at


About the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida

The Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida mobilizes volunteer and financial resources to inspire engagement in Jewish life and assure a Jewish future in the local community, Israel, and around the world. Through the support of an annual campaign and Foundation, Federation helps to support members of our community by

providing for health, education and welfare, and ensuring the dignity of life. For more information, visit




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