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Area groups receive Bremer emergency funds

The Morris Salvation Army was among several area organizations and struggling residents that will benefit from the Otto Bremer Foundation's decision to grant Emergency Fund dollars.

The foundation announced this week that 81 grants totaling almost $4.2 million will enable community organizations in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin to provide emergency financial assistance to families and individuals who are struggling to provide basics such as food, warm and stable housing, health care, and reliable transportation.

Area Salvation Army organizations in Morris, Starbuck and Alexandria are slated to receive funds.

The Emergency Fund is a joint response by the Otto Bremer Foundation and the Bremer banks to the current economic challenges, with Foundation grant dollars supplemented by donations from the Bremer banks.

"We recognize that timely financial assistance can sometimes make the difference between instability and security, enabling families and individuals to meet emergency needs and retain housing or jobs," said William Lipschultz, Foundation Trustee. "Once people are able to meet their basic needs and avert a crisis situation, they are in a better position to access community programs that can help them achieve long-term economic stability."

In addition to the Emergency Fund, the Otto Bremer Foundation is responding to the current economic situation by focusing 2009 Twin Cities area grants on poverty alleviation.

The foundation will continue to accept Twin Cities area proposals for other purposes, but proposals to provide poverty relief will receive funding priority. Foundation funding in North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota communities outside the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area will continue to respond to a broad range of proposals to meet community opportunities and needs, including needs related to poverty.

While the foundation is no longer accepting Emergency Fund applications, other foundation funding is ongoing. Information about the Foundation's grantmaking programs and application guidelines are available at

The following organizations are among those in Minnesota receiving a one-year Bremer Emergency Fund grant to provide emergency financial assistance to individuals and families:

• The Salvation Army, $35,000, Morris, Stevens County;

• West Central Minnesota Communities Action, Elbow Lake, $100,000;

• The Salvation Army, $49,000, Alexandria, Douglas County.

• The Salvation Army, $15,000, Starbuck, Pope County;

• The Salvation Army, Willmar, $50,000.