Open Door receives $1M grant from Bezos Day 1 Families Fund

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FILE – In this Sept. 19, 2019, file photo, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos speaks during his news conference at the National Press Club in Washington. A pledge by nine grantmakers to give $5 billion to conservation efforts that address threats to biodiversity and to help curb climate change is taking a different approach than philanthropy has embraced in the past — one that may require those organizations to do things differently. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

LUBBOCK, Texas– Open Door, a community-based organization that provides safe housing for survivors of sex trafficking, announced Wednesday it received a $1 million grant from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund, according to a news release from the organization.

According to the release, this is the largest grant in Open Door’s history.

Amazon founder and executive chair Jeff Bezos launched the Day 1 Families Fund issues in 2018, the release said. The foundation issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and food support that address the immediate needs of young families, the release said.

Read the full news release from Open Door below:

LUBBOCK, TX – (November 17, 2021): Lubbock Open Door, a community-based organization providing safe housing for survivors of sex trafficking, today announced that it has been selected to receive a $1,000,000 grant from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund—the largest grant in Open Door’s history. Launched in 2018 by Amazon founder and executive chair Jeff Bezos, the Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families.

“We are honored and humbled to be among the 2021 Day 1 Families Fund award recipients,” said Chad Wheeler, CEO of Open Door. “Support from the Day 1 Families Fund will have a profound impact on our ability to help families find safe housing and healing from the trauma of sex trafficking.”

This one-time grant will allow Open Door to increase housing and therapeutic services for survivors of sex trafficking and their children in Open Door Survivor Housing. Specifically, this grant will expand access to trauma-focused therapies like equine therapy, child-centered play therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, as well as provide new resources to assist survivors moving into permanent housing.

Open Door was selected as a Day 1 Families Fund grant recipient by an independent advisory board comprised of homelessness experts with experience in policy, advocacy, racial equity, child welfare and housing and service delivery, as well as firsthand experience in homelessness.

This year, the Day 1 Families Fund issued a total of $96.2 million in grants to 32 organizations across the country. The 2021 Day 1 Families Fund grant recipients are: ACLAMO; Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches; Alabama Rural Coalition for the Homeless, Inc.; All Chicago Making Homelessness History; AACI (Asian Americans for Community Involvement); Building Changes and Africatown International; Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa; Colorado Coalition for the Homeless; Covenant House Alaska; Destination: Home; Doorways; Family Life Center; Family Service League; Friends of the Family; Homeless Action Network of Detroit; Homeward; LifeMoves; Lubbock Open Door; Mesilla Valley Community of Hope; Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter & Services; Mississippi United to End Homelessness; Newcap, Inc.; Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA); Portland Homeless Family Solutions; Project Community Connections, Inc.; Rural Alaska Community Action Program (RurAL CAP); Sacramento Steps Forward; SHELTER, Inc.; Texas Homeless Network; The Link; Tri-County Community Action Agency, Inc.; and Union Station Homeless Services.

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