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Gates Foundation funds to help poverty on Harbors

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will award an undisclosed amount of money to Grays Harbor and Pacific counties over the next four years with the goal of addressing the sort of “intergenerational poverty” that leaves some low-income families struggling to break the cycle. The Gates Foundation will use the Grays Harbor Community Foundation as the local conduit to distribute the funds.

“It’s essentially the continuing low income or poverty of families,” Executive Director of the Grays Harbor Community Foundation, Jim Daly said of the problem they will pursue. “It’s a great big spider web of impacts that have a direct causal influence on poverty and we’re trying to unravel that to the point where we can maybe address one of those causes.” He said they would look at several areas that contribute to the cycle of poverty throughout generations, such as education, food, support systems/social networks or health.

The Twin Harbors are among 19 communities receiving resources from the Gates Foundation as part of what it calls the “Building Community Philanthropy Initiative.” The Grays Harbor Community Foundation was invited to write a proposal on how it could impact the cycle of intergenerational poverty in their community over a four-year period and asked to consider supporting Pacific County with this project. The board of directors agreed to do so in an administrative capacity, according to the foundation.

The amount of money in the award was not disclosed. Daly said the foundation has received its first round of funding and will receive it incrementally throughout the four years.

Daly said the foundation is asking the public to help identify the problem and where it might help through funding different human services resources throughout the community.