Pepsi Refresh Grant Competition

About 10,000 inmates are housed in the U.P.’s prisons and jails.

It can often be nearly impossible for families to visit them, traveling hundreds of miles and spending hundreds of dollars for a brief visit or two.

A retired former employee at Baraga Max Prison wants to help change that.

Pepsi is giving away more than a million dollars every month to community projects across the U.S.

An online vote decided which ones win.

A ministry in Negaunee is applying for a $250,000 grant.

It would buy and renovate a hospitality house near Baraga Max for visitors.

David Menkveld of the Dwelling Place says that’s important because if the family of an inmate housed in the U.P. wants to visit, the family often has to spend more than one day in order to get enough face-to-face time.

Nearly 300 projects are competing for votes for the quarter-million-dollar grant.

The top 2 vote-getters win.

The Dwelling Place is the only one from the U.P. trying to win the $250,000.

Menkveld thinks it’s important to note that it’s intended not just to keep inmates connected to the outside world and help them adjust more easily if they’re released.

It’s also for their loved ones, who are often having a hard time.

If you want to vote for the Dwelling Place, you can do it online here.

The voting lasts through the end of July.