Background on the Seniors Community Fund

On October 9th, the RHC in partnership with Deaconess Foundation, launched a $350,000 Seniors Community Revitalization & Development Fund (Seniors Community Fund) to support services for seniors in the region. The Seniors Community Fund aims to improve the public health system infrastructure to better serve residents 55 years of age and older and promote transparency and accountability. Read the full press release about the initiative here, or click the button below!

The Fund’s community-led Senior Advisory Board, comprised of residents aged 55 and older, accepted funding proposals for up to $30,000 from organizations/projects/initiatives addressing three priority areas: transportation, safety, and health navigation support for seniors in the Greater St. Louis region and nearby counties in Illinois.  

On December 12, 2023 The board of the Seniors Community Fund announced $350,000 in grant awards to support services for seniors in six Missouri counties and three Illinois counties. To read about the awardees, download the press release here or click the button below!


For questions about the project or application process, please contact

Do organizations need a 501(c)(3) status to submit a funding proposal?

No, organizations need either their own 501(c)(3) tax exemption OR a fiscal agent. Deaconess aims to reduce/eliminate barriers to accessing grant funding. An organization that does not have a 501(c)(3) status can identify a fiscal agent – an organization or legal entity with a 501(c)(3) tax exemption that can manage any awarded funds on its behalf. Organizations will complete the proposal in the online portal and upload the memorandum of understanding (MOU) detailing the confirmation of the fiscal agent relationship and the fiscal agent’s Employer Identification Number (EIN).  

If a community effort or group does not have 1) an identified fiscal agent or 2) a 501(c)(3) status and wants to apply for a grant, Deaconess can find a potential match to support your application if awarded. If you need to be paired with a fiscal agent email

Can the budget change after an application is awarded?  

Yes, If the budget needs change after the proposal is awarded, it is ok to shift resources as needed if one of the three initial priority areas (transportation, safety, and navigation support) is still being addressed for seniors. If a joint proposal has been awarded, it is ok to shift budget resources amongst the different organizations/projects/initiatives that are listed in the proposal. 

Are applicants allowed to add an indirect administrative fee to their budget?  

Yes, if it is included and explained in the budget narrative of how the administrative fee is being used. Funding requirements are not restrictive though at least one of the Fund’s three priority areas must be addressed by the applicant. 

Is this Fund interested in supporting current programs or expanded programs? 

This Fund supports both current, expanded, and/or new programs.   

Is there a focus on applicants supporting low-income individuals? 

Although this Fund does not explicitly state that it is focused on low-income individuals, it aims to reduce the number of gaps in services and disparities that seniors experience. Low-income individuals often experience this more frequently.  

Are there any specific counties that this fund is interested in more than others? 

No, any applicant that serves the selected counties in the Greater St. Louis area will be considered which include St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles, Jefferson, Warren, and Franklin counties in Missouri and Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair counties in Illinois. 

Can direct financial assistance be part of the grant application process?  

Yes, that falls under the priority area health navigation support. 

Can more than one priority area be selected in a proposal or must applicants complete a separate proposal for each priority? 

Applicants can select multiple priority areas in one proposal. 

Do applicants that do not currently have a support person whose role is solely dedicated to the priority area selected on the proposal still qualify for the Fund?   

Yes, we understand that other team members may fill that role and provide supports in that priority area to seniors by the applicants. 

Does transportation to and from medical appointments fall under the transportation priority area? 

Yes, health-related transportation qualifies, in addition to personal transportation needs such as going to the grocery store, hair appointments, senior activity, and more. 

Can funds be used to expand current transportation services? 

Yes, that is acceptable. 

Can funds be used for medical technology? 

Yes, if it falls within the three priority areas and meets that need. 

Would telephone navigation fall under the health navigation priority (i.e. using a social worker to call seniors and connect them to services and supports)? 

Yes, that is acceptable. 

Can funds be used to support contracts with private transportation providers (i.e. Uber/Lyft)? 

Yes, that is acceptable. 

What are some examples of services provided to qualify under the safety priority area? 

Some examples include increased lighting within neighborhoods, landscaping to clear visibility, increased supports for public safety – essentially any service that would support seniors in feeling safe within their communities.  

Would door-through-door support, such as helping seniors navigate into a facility or get to a doctor’s appointment (especially those navigating mobility instruction) qualify under the safety priority area? 

Please provide an explanation of this service and the selection committee will be able to decide upon review. 

What areas of focus must be included in a proposal? 

Proposals must support services for seniors ages 55 and above in one or more of the following priority areas: 

  • Transportation – includes transportation to more than just health-related services (transportation to grocery stores, self-care appointments, social activities, etc.) 
  • Safety – focuses on measures that increase overall safety AND the feeling of safety within neighborhoods (outdoor lighting, home maintenance and landscaping, security cameras) 
  • Navigation Support – includes support staff or programming that makes accessing social and health services more transparent, understandable, and accessible for seniors. 

When is the deadline to apply? 

Tuesday, October 31st,2023 by 11:59 PM CST 

How much can each organization receive if awarded? 

Applicants can request and be awarded up to $30,000 for each proposal. 

Is this a one-year grant or is it renewable? 

This is a one-year grant as it is a new initiative through the Regional Health Commission and Deaconess Foundation partnership. However, the fund will continue to provide funding opportunities based on this funding process with hopes to expand its priority areas during future funding cycles. 

What is the timeline for when funds must be used? 

Funds will be sent to awarded applicants in a lump sum by the end of November and received within the first week of December 2023. They must be used by December 2024. Awarded applicants can spend the funds as needed with the 12-month time frame.   

When will the determination letter be sent out? 

The letters will be sent out at the end of November 2023 to all applicants letting them know the status of their proposals. 

Are there any reporting guidelines that will help shape the funding proposal so desired indicators are known? 

No, there are not any specific reporting guidelines. We ask for applicants to include metrics and goals that they aim to achieve throughout the funding period. 

Is it okay if the percentage of the population served by applicants is seniors but they are not the majority? 

Yes, so long as seniors are represented in the population served. 

Can programs partially paid for by Medicare or Medicaid be awarded? 

Yes, so long as it is supplemental. 

How many proposals will be awarded by the Fund?  

It will be determined by the number of applications submitted and the requests that are submitted.  

Are there any limitations on what will be supported? Are you open to operational requests and capital expenses? 

The Fund prioritizes direct services to seniors. Within the three priority areas, it is understood that funding is needed to also support staffing and other financial needs which can be included in the requests for funding.   

Would seed programs and pilot programs be considered for funding? 

Yes, that is acceptable. 

Is the grant only for the seniors an applicant serves, or can applicants also describe how seniors will be reached beyond their current scope of work? 

The Fund supports both seniors currently being served by an applicant and those that will also be impacted as a result. The Fund seeks to serve as many seniors in need as possible and increase knowledge about support and services available to them. 

Can applicants contact the Senior Advisory Board to further explain their services and proposal? 

We encourage all applicants to submit a proposal for funding as a first step before any follow up communication is made.  

On October 18th, the RHC and Deaconess Foundation hosted a virtual drop-in session for questions and answers related to our Seniors Community Revitalization and Development Fund. Feel free to watch the recorded zoom meeting or check out our FAQs for content from the session!

Have additional questions? Please contact

Senior focus groups for community revitalization and development

During the months of August and September, the RHC, in partnership with the Deaconess Foundation, conducted focus groups in community with persons over 55. These focus groups, carried out in the Greater St. Louis Region and Illinois, shared their thoughts about how seniors could be better supported and other aspects of community revitalization and development. $25 gift cards and light refreshments were provided to those who participated.

The invaluable information from our focus group participants was used to inform the work of the Seniors Community Fund, described above.

Focus Group Sessions

Wednesday, August 9North CityJulia Davis Library4415 Natural Bride Ave, 6311510 – 11:30am
Monday, August 14St. Louis CityBuder Library4401 Hampton Ave,
10 – 11:30am
Thursday, August 17Creve Coeur (Room 2 TH)Thornhill Library12863 Willowyck Dr,
10 – 11:30am
Monday, August 21St. CharlesKathryn Linnemann Library2323 Elm St,
10 – 11:30am
Thursday, August 24Jefferson CountyArnold Library1701 Missouri State Rd, 6301010 – 11:30am
Tuesday, August 29St. CharlesJayce Terrace Facility1111 Boones Lick Rd,
10 – 11:30am
Tuesday, September 5St. PetersClarendale of St. Peters10 Dubray Dr, 6337610 – 11:30am
Tuesday, September 5JenningsLighthouse Adult Daycare6721 W Florissant Ave, 6313612:30pm – 2pm
Wednesday, September 6East St. LouisLessie Bates Neighborhood House1200 N 13th St, 6220510 – 11:30am
Monday, September 11Monroe CountyWaterloo Senior Center07 West Fourth Street Waterloo, IL 622989-11am
Tuesday, September 12St. Louis CitySTL Village4501 Westminster Place, 6310810 – 11:30am
Monday, September 18St. Clair CountyAge Smart801 W State St, O’Fallon, IL 622699-11am
Thursday, September 21WellstonSt. Augustine Wellston Center1705 Kienlen Ave, St. Louis, MO 631339-11am
Monday, September 25IllinoisSenior Services Plus2603 N. Rodgers Ave. Alton, IL. 620029-11am
Friday September 29IllinoisSenior Services Plus2603 N. Rodgers Ave. Alton, IL. 620029-11am

Have questions? Please contact

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