A journey to redefine our purpose.
Growing from its origins in substance use recovery, AMRF now invests more broadly in community-led change.

AMRF's Founding

2015

AMRF was founded by Arlene Rosen following the death of her son, Michael, to address the aftermath of addiction in the lives of people who experience it.

We've undergone significant changes since our founding. In the beginning our efforts were primarily focused on recovery support, providing grants to large treatment centers across the country. Our goal was to expand the services of those organizations as much as possible in hopes that more people could begin and continue their recovery journeys.

A New Vision for AMRF

I realized it was time to think bigger and more strategically. The recovery centers we funded served only a small number of people, relative to the scale of the problem."

Tobi Travis, Board President

2018

Tobi Travis pushes AMRF to broaden its impact.

Board President, Tobi Travis, shared her vision with her fellow Trustees, and when they were reluctant to join she asked them to resign and replaced them.

With a new Board in place, Tobi also sought change at the management level. She replaced the existing Executive Director with an expert in the homelessness sector, Jason Satterfield.

Since 2018, Jason has led AMRF on a journey to redefine its purpose. First, he narrowed our focus to populations and communities that have historically been underserved by government and philanthropy. We began phasing out our legacy grants to treatment centers and increased our efforts to support smaller, under-resourced communities in creative ways.

2021

A new approach to grantmaking, informed by our commitment to housing and racial justice.

Through this transition, while working in collaboration with community partners and trusted peers in philanthropy, we saw over and over again that BIPOC communities consistently experience higher rates of homelessness and lower rates of access to health care due to the impacts of systemic racism in our housing and behavioral health sectors. Eventually, we came to realize that housing and racial justice work is what’s needed for all of our communities to be healthy. This commitment was formalized in 2021 with the official kick-off of the GO Grants strategy, an initiative to reimagine a more accessible and equitable distribution of funds that invests in community leaders often marginalized by traditional philanthropic efforts.

Today

We’re working to define our success by standards of community power-building and liberation.

Today, we focus more holistically on behavioral health and housing systems, supporting local leaders in their efforts to remediate the effects of structural racism and historical inequities. Our goal is to provide financial and non-monetary resources to support community-led wellness efforts.

In doing so, we center housing and racial justice work in all our efforts. With every action, we consider the potential for long-term systemic change. We have developed internal systems of accountability to ensure that the voices of impacted communities are centered in every decision. And we seek meaningful feedback from community leaders to understand potential unintended consequences of our decisions and actions.

Looking forward, AMRF will define our success more and more by standards of community power-building and liberation. Are BIPOC leaders in our communities adequately supported? Are their organizations healthy? And are they thriving in their work to supporting the wellness of their communities?

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