Solana Beach awards $45,000 in community grants

Solana Beach City Hall
(File photo)

Solana Beach City Council members approved $45,000 in grants to 13 community organizations during their July 8 meeting.

“It’s always such a painful process because I think we’re all very heartful people who all give on our own to the community, not just with our service to council but also with using our checkbooks,” Solana Beach Mayor Jewel Edson said, referring to the process of choosing how much is appropriated to each applicant. “I think we’ve done the best that we can with what we’ve got.”

The grants are funded by $30,000 from the city and $15,000 from EDCO, which serves as the city’s waste hauler.

The allocations were $5,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of San Dieguito; $5,000 to the St. James & St. Leo Medical Program; $5,000 to La Colonia Community Foundation; $5,000 to Casa De Amistad; $5,000 to North Coast Repertory Theatre; $4,500 to the Community Resource Center; $3,000 to North County Immigration; $3,000 to the Assistance League of Rancho San Dieguito; $2,500 to Disconnect Collective; $2,500 to Jaliscience Folkloric Academy; $2,500 to Nature Collective; $1,500 to Bike Walk Solana; and $1,000 to San Diego Botanic Garden.

Applicants for the grant program made presentations to the City Council during a July 1 meeting to describe what they would use the funding for.

The Boys & Girls Club of San Dieguito plans to use the money for the La Colonia Clubhouse and Harper Teen Center, both located in Solana Beach, which serve 110 local youth, many from low- to moderate-income families.

“The majority of our families in these two clubs receive either 75% or up to 100% in financial assistance so that their children can attend our programs,” said Lenise Andrade, the organization’s director of development. “For many of them, this is their only source of child care, which is a big issue right now.”

Many parents of children in these clubs are unemployed because they work in hospitality or other industries that have downsized because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she added. The clubs closed in mid-March, but staff members have been hosting food drives and virtual programming.

The Community Resource Center, which is located in Encinitas but serves people experiencing homelessness in Solana Beach as well, will use the money to address food insecurity in the region, which has increased because of the pandemic’s economic effects.

“In addition to the financial support CRC is seeking from the city of Solana Beach, it is adding the support committed by community partners and private donors to ensure any Solana Beach resident who comes to CRC for help has equitable access to healthy food,” said John Van Cleef, the center’s executive director.