Let’s Erase the Stigma Grant
“I knew there was a need in the community… I’d anticipated the budgeting classes to be the greater need but the demand for the expungement workshop has far exceeded the expectation.”
Let’s Erase the Stigma received the WCF Community Grant Cycle 1: Mission Critical in April of 2021. The organization received $3000. The grant was utilized to purchase a computer, printer, office equipment and supplies needed to start programs.
Over the course of the grant cycle, the organization offered:
1. Budgeting Your Way to Good Credit Classes quarterly. This is the financial literacy program.
- Four 2-hour classes.
- No cost to participants.
2. Expungement Workshops, a program that shares information which determines the eligibility for qualify participants to submit a petition to the court for the sealing of their criminal background records.
- 1.5 hour workshop.
- Classes are offered bi-monthly.
- Has served 50+ participants to date.
- An eligible participant has been granted their expungement.
- There are 5 eligible participants summitting their expungement petitions as of February 6, 2022.
The focus was intentional with targeting individuals living in marginalized communities in Winona and all marginalized communities in surrounding counties. All participants identified as low socio-economic status.
As a result of this grant, Let’s Erase the Stigma was able to collaborate with individual and community organizations. The organization partnered with Southeastern Minnesota Regional Legal Services (SMRLS), aka SE Legal Aid and Winona State University (WSU) to host an Expungement Clinic here in Winona, MN.
“One of the first participants of the expungement workshop has attended her hearing and granted her expungement.”
Historically the expungement clinic is held in St. Paul, MN. It was Kathy Sublett’s goal to host this clinic in Winona, MN. By hosting an expungement clinic in Winona, it’s more accessible to participants in this region.
The 1st clinic will be held in Winona and is scheduled for the first week in February. An Expungement Clinic, consists of volunteer attorney’s and legal students that will type up expungement petitions, determine the eligibility for the fee waiver form (In Forma Pauperis), and file the expungement petitions with the counties for which the offense took place.
An important part of the Winona Community Foundation’s mission is realized though awarding community grants to meet the ever-changing needs of the community through a competitive process. By doing so, a variety of interests are supported with the goal of helping local charities make a difference in the Winona area. Our community grants for nonprofits are broad and inclusive to meet the current community needs in the Winona area.