Members of the Foundation’s Board of Directors and Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center with the Impact Grant check.

The Winona Community Foundation awarded a $100,000 Impact Grant to Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center (HVMHC) on Friday, March 1. Made possible by generous contributions from the community and from strong fiscal oversight, this is the first time the Foundation has awarded a grant of this size from its unrestricted funds since it was founded in 1987.

Foundation President/CEO Nancy Brown shares the history of the Impact Grant at the March 1st press conference.

In February 2021, the Foundation and The Philanthropic Initiative conducted a survey to get community feedback regarding our community’s greatest needs. The survey reaffirmed the community’s top two most pressing needs: more support for mental health and housing.

After seeking proposals from Winona-area nonprofits, the Foundation narrowed the pool of potential grantees to three. All three proposals were exceptional, with HVMHC rising to the top because it addressed both of the top two pressing needs. HVMHC will use the grant funds to expand and enhance their current housing programming for adults with mental health and substance use disorders in the Winona area. They will do this by expanding their Supportive Scattered Housing Program that partners with local landlords to provide additional housing options for this population. HVMHC is also partnering with the Hope for Homes Coalition and NAMI Winona to bring their vision to fruition. Ultimately, the grant will increase the number of high needs clients and their families that can be housed under this program, while they receive regular mental health treatment and individualized support from HVMHC staff.

“We are as excited about the difference these funds will make in the lives of the clients served by HVMHC as we are about the potential to award grants like this in the future. But it’s not the Foundation, it’s the community that makes it happen. So we hope others will be inspired to help us grow our grantmaking funds through their own charitable giving,” said Kathy Peterson, Impact Grant Task Force chair and immediate past chair of the Foundation board.

HVMHC Executive Director Erik Seivers receives the Impact Grant check from Foundation Board Chair Jacob Woodworth.

Creating a Sustainable Future for our Community

At its heart, the Winona Community Foundation exists to serve as a permanent source of charitable dollars for the benefit of all who live, work, and play in this wonderful place we call home. Grants like these are made possible by people like you, who have a giving heart and a love for our community.

Each year the Foundation awards grants to local organizations making a difference in our area, however, the needs in the community far outweigh the available dollars. By engaging with the Foundation, you are helping to build our community. The larger our community endowment gets, the greater impact we can have on our local nonprofits who are doing crucial work in our community.

To make your impact on the causes you care about in our community, give the Winona Community Foundation a call. The Foundation offers a variety of charitable giving options suited to your needs. Call 507-454-6511 or visit to learn more.

For questions regarding the Supportive Scattered Housing Program, contact Erik Sievers at 507-454-4341.