Unity Fund helps homeless mothers and children

Grant of $10,000 supports Annie’s House of Refuge and Restoration in Duluth

DULUTH— The Unity Fund of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation today announced that it has awarded its first grant, a $10,000 award to support housing and other services for mothers and children at risk of or experiencing homelessness in Duluth.

“It’s a joyful opportunity for Black-led organizations to be able to access funds and to invest where they will have the most significant impact,” Unity Fund Chair Salaam Witherspoon said.

The $10,000 grant will help Divine Konnections, which operates Annie’s House of Refuge and Restoration, a supportive housing program for young homeless mothers in Duluth. At Annie’s House, residents receive team services including parenting classes, resource referrals and mentors.

“I believe that everything we go through is for a reason,” Divine Konnections founder Deyona Kirk said. “It’s because you’re being called to overcome this and go back and help other people overcome.”

The Unity Fund works to provide equity and justice for people of African Heritage in the Northland. Grants from the fund are designed to create changes that will provide opportunities for people of African Heritage so they can fully enjoy the benefits of living in the Northland.

The fund, established in 2021, works to achieve:
• Economic and social stability through home ownership
• Development of local emerging and innovative businesses
• Preservation of African Heritage contributions to the region, past and present
• Elimination of health disparities through access to services and education
• Career development and educational support for traditional and non-traditional students

Community donors are encouraged to help grow the fund and continue building opportunities to support projects like this one. Follow this link to contribute.

“You don’t see funds like this too often, so I was pretty excited to see it,” Kirk said.

She added that Divine Konnections’ ultimate goal is to help homeless mothers become homeowners.

The Unity Fund accepts applications on a rolling basis. Projects must take place in, or provide services to, residents in Duluth, Superior, Hermantown, Proctor, Rice Lake or the Iron Range communities.