Overcoming Trauma and Adversity: Recently Funded Initiatives

The Foundation Trust recently announced its inaugural grant and scholarship recipients. In total in 2019, $284,813 was awarded in grants and scholarships to over 35 nonprofit organizations in select communities in Greater Boston. Contributions were made in each of the Foundation Trust’s priority tracks:

  1. Overcoming trauma and adversity,
  2. Elevating high-risk youth and communities,
  3. Restoring dignity and quality of care for adults living with chronic conditions, and
  4. Advancing inclusivity in the arts

One of the core tenets of the Foundation Trust is to support small and medium-sized organizations serving adults or youth whose lives have been affected by complex trauma and other forms of life adversity. Recipients in Track 1 are creating innovative and evidence-based approaches to intervention, training, and support. In 2019, the Foundation Trust was thrilled to award $99,219 in grants and scholarships in this track.


  • IMPACT is using their Foundation Trust grant to implement a 10-hour trauma-informed safety and self-defense training course at Mattapan Community Health Center serving women and teen girl survivors.
  • Luminosity Behavioral Health Services in Brockton is piloting a new program using Capoeira to reduce trauma response and build coping skills in at-risk African American and other Brockton-area youth of color.
  • The Foundation Trust matched funds raised at the November fundraising dinner for the Lynn Home for Women to help build capacity at their residential facility.
  • A grant to the Medford Public Library will establish a designated room in the new library for scheduled use by area social workers, psychologists and related professionals to meet the counseling needs of individuals and families in the Medford community.
  • A grant to Neighborhood Counseling and Community Services in Medford allows for the expansion of multilingual offerings and the development of a new therapy group for members for the LGBQ and TGNC communities.
  • A grant to Portal to Hope in Lynn is helping to provide safe haven to youth who have fled violent circumstances.

These grants are already having an impact. Deborah Fallon, Portal to Hope’s Founder shared that “this new partnership has already provided aid to two homeless children who were displaced due to domestic violence crime. We are grateful to the Foundation Trust for offering such terrific support.”

Lisa Connelly, Executive Director of Lynn Home for Women, similarly remarked “the Washington Square Residence/Lynn Home for Women is so very grateful to the Foundation Trust for the additional funds which will enable us to provide more services and opportunities to our residents. Community partners, like the Foundation Trust, are the life blood of small nonprofits such as WSR/LHW. Our programs and services are designed to build community within the walls of WSR but more importantly, to help build or rebuild wholesome lives, we cannot do this work alone.”

A grant to the Medford Public Library Foundation will create a new space for community counselors. “The generous commitment from the Foundation Trust to the new Medford Public Library Project has been valuable in several ways”, stated Barry R. Sloane, President of the MPL Foundation Board and Chairman and CEO of Century Bank. “Firstly, it was an early endorsement of our effort, setting an example for other institutional donors. Secondly, it demonstrated the varied use of the new library spaces by naming and outfitting one of the private meeting rooms for use by counselors and tutors in a safe and accessible setting.”


In addition to the 2019 grants, the Foundation Trust presented scholarships to four students who are overcoming family trauma and chronic health challenges to enable them to continue their parochial education at Arlington Catholic High School and St. Mary of the Annunciation School in Melrose.

A new Complex Trauma Research Scholarship was established in 2019 to provide mentorship and financial support to a graduate student doing empirical research in Psychology or related fields. The first project funded by the Foundation Trust Complex Trauma Research Scholarship is a meta-analysis of studies on the long-term effects of different types of childhood maltreatment and neglect, with particular focus on the effects of childhood emotional, verbal, and psychological abuse. Findings are expected in Spring 2020 and will be made available on www.complextrauma.org, a comprehensive information and resource website launched in 2019 for trauma-impacted individuals, families and providers, supported by the Foundation Trust.

Education and Outreach

As an operating foundation, the Foundation Trust also provides educational outreach and resource-development supporting social services related to its priority track of overcoming complex trauma. During the past year, the Foundation Trust provided training through the Cory Johnson Program for Posttraumatic Healing at Roxbury Presbyterian Church’s Social Impact Center. The Foundation Trust also supported the development and open access dissemination of multiple scholarly journal articles and book chapters on topics related to Complex Trauma and Developmental Trauma Disorder.

2020 Grant Cycle

The Foundation Trust 2020 grant cycle is now open. Interested nonprofit organizations and municipal-run programs in the communities of Chelsea, Everett, and Stoneham, MA are invited to submit Letters of Inquiry through Thursday, March 5, 2020. Detailed application instructions can be found at www.FoundationTrust.org/apply.


For more information about the work of the Foundation Trust, visit www.FoundationTrust.org or contact Lauren Liecau at manager@foundationtrust.org.