WLP awarded $100,000 from Cummings Foundation


Women’s Lunch Place is one of 100 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s “$100K for 100” program. WLP was chosen from a total of 549 applicants during a competitive review process.

Representing WLP, Elizabeth Keeley, Executive Director and Nancy Armstrong, Director of Operations, joined approximately 300 other guests at a reception at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn to celebrate the $10 million infusion into Greater Boston’s nonprofit sector. With the conclusion of this grant cycle, Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $170 million to local nonprofits alone.

Homelessness remains a public health concern in Boston despite concerted efforts to solve. On a day in January 2016, the City of Boston’s homeless census counted 1,825 individuals in emergency shelters, an increase from 1,763 in 2015 and 1,511 in 2014. Volunteers also found 167 individuals on the streets, an increase of 20.1%, from 139 in 2015.

“Cummings Foundation’s generosity will provide resources that keep women in their homes and obtain safe, stable housing for women experiencing homelessness,” Keeley said.

The Cummings Foundation grant will fund Women’s Lunch Place Homelessness PreventionProgram that helps women find permanent, safe housing and support each woman to maintain her home. Applying for and finding low income, subsidized or public housing in the Boston area is a long and complicated process that often takes years. A full-time WLP advocate works with women at every stage of the process, and a team of advocates and attorneys help women understand and plan for the financial and legal issues involved in renting an apartment on limited income.

“We strive to have greater capacity in order to serve more women in need. Generous funding from the Cummings Foundation will have a significant impact on this objective.” Keeley said.

The $100K for 100 program supports nonprofits that are not only based in but also primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. This year, the program is benefiting 35 different cities and towns within the Commonwealth.

Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the area where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate Cummings Properties. Founded in 1970 by Bill Cummings of Winchester, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages more than 10 million square feet of space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

“Nonprofit organizations like Women’s Lunch Place are vital to the local communities where our colleagues and clients live and work,” said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation’s executive director. “We are delighted to invest in their efforts.”

This year’s diverse group of grant recipients represents a wide variety of causes, including homelessness prevention and affordable housing, education, violence prevention, and food insecurity. Most of the grants will be paid over two to five years.

The complete list of 100 grant winners is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

Rani Wise