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National Church Residences Foundation Wins HUD Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnership

5/6/2019 | Recent News

National Church Residences Foundation is among the national winners of an award recognizing innovative partnerships between foundations and government for the Champion Intergenerational Enrichment and Education Center in Columbus, Ohio.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Council on Foundations announced the 2019 winners of the Secretary's Award for Public- Philanthropic Partnerships on Tuesday, April 30, in Miami.  The award went to 10 foundations, “that have been critical in transforming communities and improving the quality of life for low- and moderate-income residents,” HUD announced in a news release. The foundations all partnered with a local, regional or federal government agency.

"Congratulations to our award winners for their efforts to bridge the gap between government and philanthropy," HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a prepared statement. "These awards celebrate what we can achieve together and the drive that unites us all to expand opportunity so more Americans can succeed and thrive."

During the awards ceremony, HUD highlighted the Champion Center, located at 240 North Champion Avenue, Columbus, Ohio.  The near east side neighborhood, where the center is located, has a higher percentage of children under the age of 17 as well as adults over the age of 55 compared to the City of Columbus and Franklin County. More than 50 percent of the residents also live in poverty.

National Church Residences Foundation saw a need for a purposeful and deliberate community engagement in the area, said Senior Vice President of Philanthropy and Mission Impact Jeff Wolf.

National Church Residences partnered with Columbus Early Learning Centers, Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, The Ohio State University, Partners Achieving Community Transformation, and HUD (through a grant to the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority) to create the center.

The Center created an accessible community space with a focus on health and wellness, lifelong learning, and growth across the lifespan. This focus area has a visible impact on older adults and young people, said Senior Vice President of Home and Community Services Terry Spitznagel.

National Church Residences’ intergenerational programs have been associated with increased engagement among frail, older adults. Seniors with dementia or other cognitive impairments experience more positive effects during interactions with children than they do during other activities, Spitznagel said. Preschool children also benefit from intergenerational programs; they scored significantly higher on personal and social development assessments when compared to their counterparts.

The other award winners are: California Community Foundation, Citi Foundation, Community Cleveland Foundation, Foundation of Utah, Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, The Home Partnership Foundation, Medtronic Foundation, Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, and Puerto Rico Community Foundation.

"This year's honorees embody the true spirit of philanthropy and the power of collaboration," Kathleen P. Enright, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations, said in a prepared statement. "With a common goal to serve the community, these award recipients are working to improve the lives of citizens around the country. Their accomplishments illustrate what can be achieved with dedication, strategic vision and innovative partnerships."

The goal of the award, now in its seventh year, is to recognize the partnership process and its impact as a community strategy to increase the quality of life for low- and moderate-income residents across all American geographies—urban, suburban, and rural. The criteria for judging were strength of the cross-sector partnership, locally driven outcomes, lasting impact, evidence-based innovation and transferability.

About National Church Residences Foundation

National Church Residences Foundation is the philanthropic arm of National Church Residences, which serves more than 42,000 seniors through its array of housing and health care services. The not-for-profit organization is driven by a vision of advancing better living for all seniors, enabling them to remain home for life. With 340 communities in 25 states and Puerto Rico, it is the nation’s largest not-for-profit provider of affordable senior housing and the largest manager of service coordinators.  The organization also offers residential senior communities, home and community-based services, as well as permanent supportive housing for the formerly homeless and disabled. For more information, visit us at and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube