Three groups trying to do good in Tarrant County just got a big boost.
United Way of Tarrant County awarded them a total of $50,000 in seed funding to entrepreneurs focused on social innovation.
The grand prize of $25,000 went to Feel the Color. It was started by Jakayla Dixon, a freshman at Texas Christian University who wants to create a world where the visually impaired can do it all. She embroiders fabric tags with braille, alphabet lettering and symbols. With that tag, the visually impaired, including those who are colorblind, have the opportunity to feel the color of their clothes.
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The second place prize of $15,000 was awarded to the Tarrant County Furniture Bank. Through social service agencies, it provides furniture to those transitioning out of homelessness. Federal funding can be used to house the homeless, but cannot be used on furniture.
Finally, $10,000 went to Shared Housing Program. It creates safe, affordable housing for individuals overcoming homelessness and/or domestic violence, low-income families who are unable to afford market rent, and elderly homeowners struggling with living costs on fixed incomes.
The three organizations competed as finalists in the fourth annual KERNEL Live! event. The seed money is intended to help grow their ideas to help solve some of the challenging social issues in Tarrant County.
United Way of Tarrant County established KERNEL in 2016 to foster social innovation within Tarrant County and provide resources and seed funding for organizations and programs that comprise a combination of social impact, a sustainable revenue model and an innovative approach to solving the social challenges in our community.