Nashville’s Launch Pad, a winter emergency shelter program serving homeless youth 18-24 based in being open and affirming to LGBTQ youth, was announced a grant recipient of A Community Thrives, a grant-making and crowd-funding program from the USA TODAY NETWORK and a part of the Gannett Foundation, today. Nashville Launch Pad will receive a $100,000 Project Grant for building staff capacity in what has been almost exclusively a volunteer-staffed agency.

“We’re amazed and grateful to receive this grant just as we’ve finished up our fifth season of shelter. It’s always been reassuring to see community buy-in around making sure our youngest and most at-risk adults have the support they need to get into more stable situations,” said Rose Marie Pink, Nashville Launch Pad Executive Director. “Our only paid staff have been those providing overnight supervision to our shelter programs. This money allows us to pay those staffers a more reasonable wage, and also to bring in dedicated staff to enable program development and make Launch Pad sustainable, something we’ve desperately needed to be able to continue.”

A Community Thrives supports non-profit organizations with projects focused on community building and has helped to contribute more than $6.5 million since 2017. This year, A Community Thrives engaged participants in 46 states. Nashville Launch Pad was named one of only 3 winners in the $100,000 category.

“We are proud of the work Nashville Launch Pad has done to enhance Nashville. At Gannett, our mission is to connect and empower our readers to make a difference in the communities they are a part of. Through A Community Thrives, we are further fueling our mission and purpose,” said Andy Yost, Chief Marketing Officer, Gannett.