West Side of Charleston

The focus of the “Investing in Our Communities —West Side of Charleston” initiative is to strategically concentrate funds and other assets in the area around Mary C. Snow Elementary School.  The specific area of The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation’s concentration is Hunt Avenue to Grant Street then to 3rd Avenue to Bream Street and the Kanawha Blvd. area that is situated between Hunt and Bream (click here to view the map). By allocating resources to a specific area within a community with deliberate and intensive efforts, the Foundation believes that systemic changes can be achieved at a deeper and more sustainable level. The Foundation will be working in collaboration with other funders and community members to produce fundamental changes in services, systems and community problem-solving to improve the overall quality of life for the people that live, work, and play in this area. This type of community investment does so with respect for the local history and culture, a commitment to identifying and mobilizing local assets, and an interest in building local capacity.

The Foundation is looking for programs that address the root causes and not merely the symptoms of systemic community problems. Successful implementation should lead to changes in societal conditions as well as individual lives.  Only projects that are transformational in nature and address at least one of the Seven Forms of Community Wealth will be considered for funding. The Seven Forms of Community wealth are broadly defined as the stock of tangible and intangible assets that contribute to our community’s overall well-being. These types of wealth include financial assets; functional built infrastructure; educated, skilled, and healthy individuals; healthy land and natural resources; creativity and new ideas; the organization and power to influence the decision‐making that affects our daily lives; and the social connections between individuals (click here for further explanation of the Seven Forms of Community Wealth).