A woman smiling at a young child in a daycare. The text reads: The Julia L. Grant Basic Human Needs Grant Program

This grant program was administered by invitation in January 2023 and is now closed.

We intend to return to a competitive grant program in early 2024.

The Issue

Living in Sonoma County is expensive. The high cost of living makes it challenging for low- income residents to cover their basic human needs—a situation made worse by the compounding effects of the wildfires, Coronavirus pandemic, and subsequent inflation. Families are increasingly forced to choose between paying their rent versus buying food or gas to get to work.

In crises such as these, straightforward, real-time assistance with food, shelter, transportation, or medical expenses can prevent families from losing a job, falling into homelessness, or facing another day without food.

Grant Program Overview

The Julia L. Grant Fund for Basic Human Needs grant program provides a unique funding opportunity for nonprofit organizations already working with vulnerable populations and in need of funding for critical safety net services.

Funds may be used to provide immediate and direct assistance to secure shelter, emergency food, transportation, and support for urgent medical and dental expenses to people in acute need. Examples of previous safety net services funded through this program include:

  • Rental assistance
  • Emergency financial assistance
  • Diapers and other hygiene items
  • Medical expenses

Emergency food boxes or grocery store gift cards

Grant Program Criteria

Our Julia L. Grant Basic Human Needs Grant Program is meant to address the most essential needs of families and individuals in Sonoma County. When evaluating proposals, we use the following criteria to assess a request for funding:

An elder community member picking up her food from a young lady holding trays of food.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Support can be delivered immediately and directly to those in acute need (ex. gift cards, hotel vouchers, rent subsidies).
  • Organization is fiscally sound with strong management.
  • Program minimizes barriers to accessing services.

The blue ocean waves are seen behind two older ladies as they smile for a photo.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Sonoma County 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or fiscally sponsored.
  • Intervention-related services that address short-term needs of community members, rather than prevention-oriented activities.
  • Case management and referral services are not eligible for this funding.
  • Program and general operating support are not eligible for this funding.

How to Apply

This grant program was administered by invitation in January 2023 and is now closed. We intend to return to a competitive grant program in early 2024.
For questions about the Julia L. Grant Fund for Basic Human Needs, please contact:
José Castro Gambino

José Castro Gambino

Community Impact Officer

2022 Grant Recipients

Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indiansto provide members with basic unmet needs
FISH of the Santa Rosa Area Inc.to purchase healthy food from Redwood Empire Food Bank for distribution to food-insecure people of Sonoma County
On The Moveto support VOICES to prevent homelessness among transition-age youth and address critical basic needs
California Human Developmentto provide direct financial assistance to low-income farmworkers and other vulnerable populations
TLC Child & Family Servicesto support the the Transition Age Youth Housing Program youth with emergency basic needs
Sonoma Family Mealto provide delicious, efficient and safe meals to families and seniors facing food insecurity in times of crisis and beyond
Sonoma Applied Village Servicesto provide nutritious meals to homeless persons living in Sebastopol SAVS Horizon Shine Village and on the street
Social Advocates for Youthto provide food and rental support to vulnerable youth through the SAY Housing Continuum
La Familia Sanato provide direct rental and utilities assistance to families impacted by COVID
InterFaith Shelter Networkto provide immediate solutions to community members who have unmet basic needs
Cloverdale Senior Multipurpose Centerto provide access to healthy foods, housing, and other fundamental human needs to maintain independence and dignity
California Parenting Institute (CPI)for food assistance, medical expenses, and for diapers and similar household needs for families
California Indian Museum & Cultural Centerto provide healthy foods, rental and utility assistance to local Native American elders and families in need