$400,000 to Non-Profits Will Help Preserve Affordable Housing, Help Low-Income Households Increase College and Career Success
Habitat for Humanity Riverside and OneFuture Coachella Valley have been named as the 2019 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® awardees for the Inland Empire. The nonprofits were selected for their work addressing affordable housing and college and career attainment for low-income households.
The largest corporate philanthropic investment in nonprofit leadership in the country, Bank of America Neighborhood Builders each receive a $200,000 grant, leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader at the organization, a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and the opportunity to access capital to expand their impact.
Despite today’s strong economy, more people are getting priced out of housing in the Inland Empire and the poverty rate has increased. In the Coachella Valley alone, 22 percent of residents earn less than poverty level – far exceeding the state average of 13 percent – and the average salary is at least $30,000 less without a college degree. A recent Brookings Institute study indicated the need for greater job diversification that pay higher wages in the Inland Empire and found that 54 percent of the region’s jobs are “neither good nor promising, meaning they provide insufficient pay or benefits and no viable career pathway to good jobs.”
“While the region has seen tremendous economic progress, the affordability gap and education gap have resulted in more people struggling to get out of poverty, even when many of them have jobs. But through strategic philanthropic investments like Neighborhood Builders, high impact nonprofit organizations like Habitat for Humanity Riverside and OneFuture Coachella Valley have the power to lift more people out of poverty and onto a path of financial sustainability,” said Al Arguello, market president for the Inland Empire, Bank of America.
Habitat for Humanity Riverside is dedicated to building and preserving housing for low-income and very low-income families that is not only affordable, but also sustainable. Data shows that more than 85 percent of the college-aged children from Habitat for Humanity Riverside families have gone on to college, and 100 percent of those are the first in their family to attend college. That is a direct impact of a family not having to spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing costs. Neighborhood Builder funds will go to help manage several builds over the next few years, including a new “cottage home” (a 400 sq. ft. home) project in collaboration with the City of Riverside, that once completed, is set to give 10-20 currently homeless individuals permanent supportive housing, and a project in collaboration with CalVet that consists of a 26 home build for low-income veterans.
“At Habitat for Humanity Riverside we focus on wanting to make a difference in the community. This means not only building new affordable housing, but also preserving current affordable housing options, and ensuring new home buyers are equipped with the tools to succeed in staying in their homes,” said Kathy Michalak, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Riverside. “The Neighborhood Builder funding is critical to our organization’s growth spurt over the next year and a half and will have a lifechanging impact on the families who will directly benefit from the additional homes the funds will support.”
OneFuture Coachella Valley drives a regional collaborative that offers a strategic approach to provide access to college to low-income households by aligning education, workforce and economic development efforts to help Coachella Valley’s K-12 and college age students access careers, internships, college scholarships, and college pathway. Since 2009, OneFuture Coachella Valley and its regional partners have awarded more than $15 million in scholarships to 2327 students. Funds from the Neighborhood Builder grant will allow OneFuture Coachella Valley to expand its Regional Plan for College and Career Success 2.0, with an emphasis on college readiness, financial aid literacy and employer engagement to reach more students.
“The organization has successfully connected multiple organizations in the region to work with one goal in mind – to increase educational attainment as a driver of economic mobility,” said Sheila Thornton, President and CEO, OneFuture Coachella Valley. “Providing hands-on assistance to students and their families places youth on a path that promises a better financial reward while meeting the needs of area employers. Ultimately, we have a more thriving economy. The Neighborhood Builders grant will go a long way to reach many more students and significantly enhance our future economy.”
Over the past 15 years, Bank of America has invested $240 million in 49 communities through Neighborhood Builders, partnering with more than 1,000 nonprofits and helping more than 2,000 nonprofit leaders strengthen their leadership skills. The invitation-only program is highly competitive, and with winners selected by local community leaders. Neighborhood Builders is just one example of how Bank of America deploys capital in communities, builds cross-sector partnerships, and promotes socioeconomic progress as part of its approach to responsible growth.
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At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).
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