Metropolitan Center for Independent Living Awarded Grant
from the F. R. Bigelow Foundation for Philanthropic Feasibility Study
Funds will provide support for study to identify opportunities to expand MCIL facilities and service
SAINT PAUL, Minn., (Aug. 20, 2019) —The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL) was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the F. R. Bigelow Foundation. This generous grant will provide financial resources to support an extensive study to create a path to address MCIL’s outgrown facilities, affirmatively position the organization for growth, and advance MCIL’s mission of “Removing barriers, promoting choices.” The three-part study will be done in cooperation with consultants Crowley White and Associates. Outcomes will include a comprehensive facilities plan, an assessment of the funding potential from the philanthropic community, and provide MCIL a capital campaign strategy and comprehensive plan to move forward. Work will be done in close collaboration with MCIL Executive Director Jesse Bethke Gomez, MMA, and the agency’s board of directors, key stakeholders, staff and constituents.
As one of more than 405 Centers for Independent Living in the United States, MCIL offers an extensive range of programs and services for members of the disability community, their families, and partner organizations. Programs include housing referral services, transition plans for young adults with disabilities, consumer-directed Personal Attendant Services, ramp and home modifications, and relocation from nursing home institutional settings. With more than 70 staff members and 200 Personal Care Assistants (PCAs), MCIL serves thousands of participants, consumers and clients annually across the Twin Cities metro area. Thirty-seven years after its founding, the agency has outgrown its current facility and is poised for considerable transformation toward expanding services and an addressing increased need.
“This comprehensive feasibility study is an outgrowth of a 2017 rigorous strategic planning effort,” said MCIL’s Executive Director Jesse Bethke Gomez, MMA. “Our board of directors, agency employees, external stakeholders, and notably people served by MCIL, all had input. That work elevated the necessity to build greater capacity and prepared a way forward to address our currently inadequate facilities. We are inspired by the F. R. Bigelow Foundation’s long-standing commitment to enhancing the quality of life, bringing pursuit of equity for residents in greater Saint Paul. We are honored to have their support. The funds they have provided allow us to take our planning to the next level and meet the needs of our clients, employees and the community for the foreseeable future.”
“We are pleased to support this study, and assist MCIL in positioning itself for long-term, sustainable growth,” said Sharon DeMark, program officer for the F.R. Bigelow Foundation. “MCIL’s work is critical to strengthening our community. We look forward to the outcome of this important study and the exciting possibilities it will bring.”
About MCIL: The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL) is a Twin Cities metro-based, nonprofit
501.c.3 consumer-directed organization founded in 1981. MCIL is dedicated to the full promotion of the Independent Living (IL) philosophy by supporting individuals with disabilities in their personal efforts to pursue self-directed lives. Being “consumer-directed” means that the majority of decision-making employees and members of our board of directors are individuals with disabilities. MCIL is committed to promoting this IL philosophy through innovative projects and direct services that meet the needs of MCIL consumers. MCIL is also one of eight Centers for Independent Living in Minnesota and is a member agency of the Minnesota Association of Centers for Independent Living. Visit mcil—mn.org