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HATW announced that it has received a grant from The HOPE Fund of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan in the amount of $21,800 to partner with multiple child welfare agencies in southeast Michigan to assist them in establishing and increasing inclusive services for LGBTQ+ youth and families.

“Hands Across The Water is so proud to receive this grant from the Community Foundation’s Hope Fund to support the work that we are already doing with other inclusive child welfare agencies in Southeast Michigan,” shares Executive Director Katie Page Sander. “Alongside Fostering Futures, another agency long dedicated to affirming services to LGBTQ+ children and families, HATW aims to continue to build a grassroots consortium of private child welfare agencies seeking consultation, training, advocacy or idea-sharing with other like-minded agencies. “

Since 2011, HATW has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign’s All Children All Families project as a leader and innovator in serving LGBTQ+ clients. Fostering Futures is another child welfare agency in Ann Arbor that has been recognized by the HRC as a leader and innovator since 2014. HATW is excited to assist other agencies in their journey of providing more inclusive services to families and youth.

“This grant will help ensure we can continue to support others to cut through some of the inertia that happens whenever we know that something needs to be changed, but we aren’t sure where to begin,” said Page Sander. “Our goal is to eliminate barriers and help agencies who are committed to their LGBTQ+ clients take those first steps, no matter how small, towards positive change.”

HATW is currently partnering with local agencies to establish the framework for this consortium. The first few months will be spent networking with additional agencies to increase consortium participation in Southeast Michigan. Sander and Fostering Futures’ Executive Director Jennifer Milliman have started planning consortium meetings: interested agencies should reach out to Sander or Milliman with questions.

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a full-service philanthropic organization leading the way to positive change in our region. As a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations, the Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development, and civic affairs. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $1.4 billion through nearly 85,000 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair, and Livingston counties. For more information, please visit

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