Community Foundation Serving Howard, Clinton and Carroll Counties Receives Lilly Endowment Inc. Large-Scale Community Leadership Grant

Community Leadership grant of more than $4.9 million to fund Drop-In Engagement Center

December 18, 2020 -- The Community Foundation Serving Howard, Clinton and Carroll Counties has received a Large-Scale Community Leadership Grant of $4,986,515 through the seventh phase of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT VII) initiative. The grant will support efforts to establish a medically assisted Drop-In Engagement Center in Howard County, with regional collaborative partnership locations in Carroll and Clinton counties.

The Drop-In Engagement Center is intended to reduce avoidable incarcerations and hospitalizations of individuals in the tri-county region who are affected by mental health and addiction issues.  Frequently, they are taken to an emergency room or the jail. These individuals often require a safe place to detox and stabilize before they are effectively able to engage in formal mental health and addiction treatment.

Turning Point – System of Care will be the administrator of the Drop-In Engagement Center in Howard County.  For the regional collaborative partnerships, Healthy Communities of Clinton County will be the administrator of the Clinton County location and Mental Health America – Wabash Valley Region will be the administrator of the Carroll County location.

The Community Foundation Serving Howard, Clinton and Carroll Counties is one of 11 community foundations in Indiana to receive a Large-Scale Leadership Grant as part of a competitive component of the GIFT VII initiative. Through GIFT VII, Lilly Endowment encouraged Indiana’s community foundations to deepen their understanding of the most pressing challenges and opportunities facing their local communities, prioritize them and develop plans to address the challenges and opportunities.

“This grant will allow immediate critical care to be accessible for those who are struggling with addiction and mental health issues in our tri-county region,” said Greg Aaron, President of the Community Foundation Serving Howard, Clinton and Carroll Counties. “It will offer clients a supervised place to stay during a transitory housing gap until the time they can enter formal treatment. The availability of the Drop-In Engagement Center will help reduce the demand on emergency departments and reduce incarcerations of individuals who need treatment but have not committed a crime.”

The Large-Scale Leadership Grants are in addition to non-competitive GIFT VII Community Leadership Grants that Lilly Endowment made earlier this year to 87 of Indiana’s community foundations. Howard County received a $150,000 grant, and Clinton and Carroll counties each received a $100,000 grant in September. The Community Leadership Implementation Grants funded the mental health and addiction services navigator positions through Turning Point – System of Care in Howard County; Healthy Communities of Clinton County; and Mental Health America – Wabash Valley Region in Carroll County.

The three administrators have been involved throughout the grant proposal process. “The large-scale grant is a game changer for Turning Point and the tri-county region,” said Paul Wyman, Board Chair of Turning Point - System of Care. “The need for our services has escalated and this funding will enable us to expand our programs.  The Drop-In Engagement Center was something we aspired to and as a result of incredible collaboration in our community, along with the generosity of Lilly Endowment, we are going to achieve it. Now we can move forward with the expansion of our resources and help those in the region who are in distress from addiction and mental health issues.”

“Carroll County and the region will benefit from this funding,” said Brandi Christiansen, President and CEO of Mental Health America – Wabash Valley Region. “We knew there was a need for additional mental health and addiction services in the area and this will allow us to expand our services to Carroll County. We are excited about this opportunity to improve the quality of life for those who need our services.”

Lorra Archibald, Executive Director of Healthy Communities of Clinton County shared that the expanded programs this offers will strengthen Clinton County’s health resources. “This funding will build upon the mental health and addiction navigator position funded by the Implementation Grant from Lilly Endowment. This will make a positive change for many in Clinton County and we could not be more thankful.”

The Community Foundation used research gathered from more than 70 meetings conducted throughout the tri-county region to determine what citizens wanted for the future well-being and growth of their community. These included community conversations and meetings with key service providers of mental health and addiction services.

“The community conversations revealed that participants want a mentally healthy and drug-free community,” said Aaron.  “In addition, a centrally located, short-term stay drop-in center offering mental health and addiction resource navigation was the number one need expressed by key service providers when asked to share their ‘big vision’ for their community. This community research was used to develop the grant proposal.”

The Foundation received a Planning Grant through Lilly Endowment’s GIFT VII initiative that funded the community research. Community conversations and key service provider meeting reports can be found at, and

The 11 grants Lilly Endowment is funding through the highly-competitive component of GIFT VII hold great promise of helping community foundations strengthen the leadership roles they play in improving  the quality of life for their communities’ residents,” said Ronni Kloth, Lilly Endowment’s Vice President for Community Development. “We are truly impressed by the collaborative projects these community foundations have developed to address the compelling needs they have prioritized and look forward to seeing the impact of their efforts in the years to come.”

The Community Foundation Serving Howard, Clinton and Carroll Counties is a nonprofit charitable organization. The purpose of the Foundation is to serve the interests of donors, to make grants and act as a catalyst around issues of community importance in Howard, Clinton and Carroll counties. For details about making a charitable gift or establishing a permanent endowment fund to benefit a charitable organization or interest, contact Greg Aaron at (765) 454-7298 or

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly, Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

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