Funders Social Services

Communities Foundation of Texas invests in capacity building at LVTRise

Written by Mindia Whittier

The organization works to create opportunities that help residents flourish in educational pathways, in family life, and in the local community.

Las Vegas Trail Revitalization Project (LVTRise) has received a $300,000 grant from Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT).

Funds will be used to support the expansion and curation of services and other resources to best serve the community, specifically focused on technology and capacity building. The grant will be fulfilled over three-years.

LVTRise began as a mobile community center providing social services and access to resources after the Fort Worth Star Telegram and community stakeholders in the Las Vegas Trail area initiated a series of town hall discussions that uncovered several neighborhood deficiencies and a lack of resources in the neighborhood.

In April 2019, the Rise Community Center opened to the public providing a permanent home for LVTRise. In January 2021, the city of Fort Worth opened a branch of the public library system in the community center, furthering available resources. Currently, Phase 2 of the community center is under construction with an estimated completion date Summer 2022.

LVTRise received its first $100,000 grant distribution from CFT with funds directed to expand the community center’s services and invest in an efficient and comprehensive data gathering system to measure the impact the center and its services have on the community and residents. The LVTRise model, with its investment in information gathering systems, has the potential to be duplicated in similar communities throughout the county. The grant will potentially fund the expansion of the LVTRise team.

“We are thrilled to provide this multi-year investment in the LVTRise and the Las Vegas Trail Community,” said Wende Burton, Chief Philanthropy Officer at Communities Foundation of Texas. “We know this funding will help LVTRise increase its capacity to meet growing needs and advance opportunity within the Las Vegas Trail Community.”

Current LVTRise programs include resources and support opportunities ranging from healthcare, food pantry, recreation and professional development that serve more than 12,000 community members each year. Annually, 4,577 unduplicated community members have received access to social, educational, healthcare, job training, mental health, student support and after school activities at LVTRise.

Its relationship-based outreach strategy has created a grassroots support system for many families in the community served by LVTRise. The organization provides equitable resources for a neighborhood that speaks more than 32 languages and is a majority Black and brown population.

Communities Foundation of Texas works locally and across the state through a variety of charitable funds and strategic initiatives. The public foundation professionally manages 1,200 charitable funds for individuals, families, companies, and nonprofits in addition to powering several key initiatives such as W. W. Caruth, Jr. Fund at CFT, Educate Texas at CFT, and CFT’s North Texas Giving Day. CFT has awarded more than $2 billion in grants since its founding in 1953.

“It is community partners like Communities Foundation of Texas that allow us to expand our program outreach while also facilitating the measurement and success of those programs,” said LVTRise Interim Director Paige Charbonnet. “We are grateful for this opportunity and look forward to witnessing first-hand how this positively impacts the LVT community.”

About the author

Mindia Whittier