Local Nonprofit Awarded $100K to Help Former Inmates Reintegrate Into Society

August 20, 2020


Through the creation of the Here to Help Foundation, co-founder Bob Schwarz (left) has helped more than 9,000 Michigan residents facing emergency financial situations.

Royal Oak-based nonprofit Here to Help Foundation received a $100,000 grant from the Sunshine Lady Foundation to support their recently launched Returning Hope to Returning Citizens program. The Sunshine Lady Foundation was founded in 1996 by philanthropist Doris Buffett, sister of Warren Buffett. Her goal was to give her entire fortune away during her lifetime in support of charities that positively affect people’s lives. On Tuesday, Aug. 4, Buffett died at her home in Rockport, Maine at age 92.The money will be used to provide grants to individuals who have exited the criminal justice system and are working to successfully reintegrate into society.“Individuals who are reentering society face a complex set of challenges and need. ... It truly takes a community working together to ensure a successful transition, which is why we are so very thankful for the generous support of the Sunshine Lady Foundation. This award will support our ongoing work to restore hope to those returning home as they move forward on their path to success and independence,” said Bob Schwarz, Here to Help Foundation co-founder and CEO.The Returning Hope to Returning Citizens program provides grants for clothing, home furnishings and appliances and assists with job placement, locates housing, negotiates with landlords and offers financial literacy help and mentoring. Here to Help also serves as a referral source to other organizations and agencies that assist returning citizens with additional needs such as job training, record expungement and mental health care.“Doris Buffett never ‘just wrote a check,’” said Sunshine Lady Foundation Executive Director Mitty Beal. “She believed in and thrived on becoming personally involved with beneficiaries of her philanthropy in exactly the way Bob and Robin Schwartz do. She would have been uplifted to learn about the Here to Help Foundation. The directors of the Sunshine Lady Foundation, knowing Doris as well as we did for the 25 years we worked for and with her, are confident she would have as enthusiastically supported the Schwartz’ mission as we do.”

The Here to Help Foundation provides direct assistance to Oakland and Wayne County residents faced with emergency situations. For more information about the Here to Help Foundation, visit www.heretohelpfoundation.org. Donations can also be made via credit card or bank transfer via PayPal or mailed to Help Foundation, P. O. Box 480, Royal Oak, MI 48068. Every dollar donated by the public goes directly to individuals facing an emergency situation and no donations go toward administrative or other expenses.

—Press Release Submitted by Michael Odom of Here to Help Foundation