The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco announced today that it has awarded $1.5 million in grants through its Access to Housing and Economic Assistance for Development (AHEAD) Program. The grants, which are made through the Bank’s member financial institutions, will be used by nonprofit organizations in Arizona, California, and Nevada to foster economic development and promote community stability and self-sufficiency.
The AHEAD Program enables Bank members to give a critical boost to local programs and projects that target pressing community development needs by creating or preserving jobs, supporting a nonprofit’s organizational and capacity-building activities, or delivering social services, training and education, and other needed services and programs. The focus of the AHEAD Program is to support innovative economic development and job training or job creation initiatives that benefit low-and-moderate-income communities and have the potential to help narrow the wealth gap.
“Our AHEAD Program is a way to strengthen relationships between Bank members and nonprofits with special expertise in economic and community development,” said Greg Seibly, president and chief executive officer of FHLBank San Francisco. “This year’s grant winners demonstrate a high degree of ingenuity and creativity in their approach to addressing critical needs, and we are pleased to provide resources for these important initiatives.”
This year, the Bank reviewed 193 applications before selecting 51 AHEAD grant winners. The grants will be made through 32 participating Bank members, including 9 that are first-time AHEAD grant recipients. Grant amounts range from $20,000 to $40,000.
The AHEAD Program supports a wide variety of economic and community development initiatives each year. Among this year’s 51 winners are:
59DaysofCode will receive a $30,000 grant, through member Central Valley Community Bank, to expand a technology education program that offers access to tech learning opportunities and career options that are alternatives to farm labor to five low-income rural school districts in the San Joaquin Valley of California.
Homeboy Industries will receive a $40,000 grant, through member MUFG Union Bank, to expand an electronic waste recycling job training program for its clients in Los Angeles, who are predominantly former gang members or formerly incarcerated.
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) of Los Angeles will receive a $25,000 grant, through member East West Bank, to work with institutions such as hospitals, universities, and transit agencies to increase procurement opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses located in a designated Promise Zone in South Los Angeles.
Native American Connections will receive a $20,000 grant, through member Western Alliance Bank, to implement a commercial kitchen training program at a former elementary school that is being redeveloped as an Indian Visitors Center in Phoenix.
North Coast Opportunities will receive a $30,000 grant, through member Community First Credit Union, to offer, in partnership with a local community college, early childhood development classes and certifications for parents to become teaching assistants at Head Start programs in rural Lake and Mendocino counties.
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center will receive a $30,000 grant, through member First Republic Bank, to deliver an entrepreneurship and empowerment training program for women living in public housing in Bayview Hunter’s Point, one of the most marginalized communities in San Francisco.
“In this year’s applications, we see how well connected the members of our cooperative are to very localized economic development strategies and initiatives, proposing innovative solutions not just for the larger metropolitan regions, but also for the far corners and remote areas of our three-state district,” said Jim Yacenda, vice president and community investment officer at FHLBank San Francisco. “Because of the members’ networks and nonprofit connections, the Bank is able to support local efforts to expand proven development models and help get new inventions and interventions off the ground.”
Funding for AHEAD is determined annually by the Bank’s Board of Directors. Since the program began in 2004, the Bank has awarded over $11.5 million in AHEAD grants to support 405 projects and programs in Arizona, California, and Nevada.
Extracted from Business Insider.