RurAL CAP Receives $2.5 Million Bezos Day 1 Families Fund Grant to Help End Homelessness for Families in Alaska

Day 1 Families Fund grants $96.2 million to 32 nonprofits across the country to provide shelter for children and families in need

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – (November 17, 2021): Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc., (RurAL CAP), a Community Action Agency that provides programs in housing, early childhood education and health and well-being across Alaska, today announced that it has been selected to receive a $2.5 million grant from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund. Launched in 2018 by Amazon founder and executive chair Jeff Bezos, the Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families.

“This funding elevates RurAL CAP’s capacity to serve families experiencing homelessness in Anchorage through expanded support services, as we continue collaboration with our community to navigate the effects of the global pandemic,” said Tiel Smith, chief executive officer of RurAL CAP. “We are grateful for this chance to join our valued partners across Alaska and advance the National Community Action Partnership’s vision to create opportunities for all people to thrive.”

This one-time grant will allow RurAL CAP to make improvements to Safe Harbor Muldoon, a transitional housing facility in Anchorage that serves families with children and operates as the only transitional housing facility in the city that serves men with children. These improvements include adding a computer lab where youth can do schoolwork and adults can research employment opportunities. The funding will also expand staffing for RurAL CAP’s services, preparing families to move from transitional housing and into permanent housing through case management, daily living skills training and assistance accessing benefits.

RurAL CAP was selected as a Day 1 Families Fund grant recipient by an independent advisory board comprised of homelessness experts with experience in policy, advocacy, racial equity, child welfare and housing and service delivery, as well as firsthand experience in homelessness.

This year, the Day 1 Families Fund issued a total of $96.2 million in grants to 32 organizations across the country. The 2021 Day 1 Families Fund grant recipients are: ACLAMO; Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches; Alabama Rural Coalition for the Homeless, Inc.; All Chicago Making Homelessness History; AACI (Asian Americans for Community Involvement); Building Changes and Africatown International; Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa; Colorado Coalition for the Homeless; Covenant House Alaska; Destination: Home; Doorways; Family Life Center; Family Service League; Friends of the Family; Homeless Action Network of Detroit; Homeward; LifeMoves; Lubbock Open Door; Mesilla Valley Community of Hope; Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter & Services; Mississippi United to End Homelessness; Newcap, Inc.; Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA); Portland Homeless Family Solutions; Project Community Connections, Inc.; Rural Alaska Community Action Program (RurAL CAP); Sacramento Steps Forward; SHELTER, Inc.; Texas Homeless Network; The Link; Tri-County Community Action Agency, Inc.; and Union Station Homeless Services.

“Enhancing the support this program provides to families in transition will positively impact their journey to permanent housing and self-sufficiency,” said Rob Marx, RurAL CAP’s supportive housing director. “This funding will assist families on so many levels with more than a roof over their heads, which is imperative during this time of local housing and shelter crisis. We will have opportunities to explore diversity and cultural support while also providing the flexibility to understand each family’s current circumstances and create a unique plan for success.”

The Bezos Day One Fund made a $2 billion commitment to focus on making meaningful and lasting impacts in two areas: funding existing non-profits that help families experiencing homelessness, and creating a network of new, non-profit tier-one preschools in low-income communities. The Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families. Since 2018, the Day 1 Families Fund has issued 130 grants totaling more than $398 million to organizations around the country working to combat homelessness and help families gain housing support and stability. The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary’s Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside. For more information, visit

About Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc.

Founded in 1965, RurAL CAP is a private, statewide, nonprofit organization with a mission to empower low-income Alaskans through advocacy, education, affordable housing and direct services that respect our unique values and cultures. RurAL CAP is one of the largest and most diversified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in Alaska.