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FHLBank San Francisco Awards $1.5 Million in Grants to 55 Nonprofits for Economic Development Initiatives

AHEAD Program Grants Will Boost Local Jobs Programs and Other Economic and Community Development Initiatives in Arizona, California, and Nevada

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco has awarded $1.5 million in grants through its 2019 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 advance innovative economic and community development initiatives and bring greater opportunity to underserved populations and neighborhoods.

The AHEAD Program enables Bank members to give a critical boost to local programs and projects that target pressing needs by creating or preserving jobs, supporting a nonprofit’s organizational and capacity-building activities, or delivering social services, training and education, and other vital services and programs. 

“Our AHEAD Program is a way to facilitate and strengthen relationships between Bank members and nonprofits that are working to spur economic development and create more opportunity in low- and moderate-income communities,” said Greg Seibly, President and CEO of FHLBank San Francisco. “We are pleased to provide resources to nonprofit organizations that bring expertise, creativity, and proven development models to this endeavor.”

This year, the Bank reviewed 193 applications before selecting 55 AHEAD grant winners. The grants will be made through 35 participating Bank members, including seven that sponsored winning applications for the first time. Grant amounts range from $20,000 to $50,000.

AHEAD grants support a wide variety of innovative economic and community development initiatives each year, with the goal of bringing members and nonprofits together to make the communities they serve stronger and more self-sufficient. For example, among this year’s 55 winners are:

  • A New Way of Life Reentry Project (ANWOL) will receive a $20,000 grant, through member Pacific Premier Bank, to offer job training, career coaching, and personal mentoring to formerly incarcerated women in Los Angeles County.
  • Beyond Emancipation will receive a $30,000 grant, through member Farmers & Merchants Bank of Central California, to give former foster and probation youth the opportunity to intern at an urban flower farm in West Oakland.
  • The Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation will receive a $35,000 grant, through member Central Valley Community Bank, to deliver bilingual business training to Latina entrepreneurs in California’s Central Valley.
  • Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI) will receive a $35,000 grant, through member Merchants Bank of Commerce and in partnership with a tech company, to help women entrepreneurs in rural Northern California develop a digital presence for their businesses.
  • JobPath will receive a $40,000 grant, through member Wells Fargo National Bank West, to help DREAMer students at a community college in Tucson pay for tuition to stay in school and work towards careers in healthcare and technology.
  • United States Veterans Initiatives (U.S. VETS) will receive a $25,000 grant, through member Charles Schwab Bank, to support a new workforce development program for homeless veterans and those at risk of homelessness to enter the conference/trade show installation and design field in Las Vegas.

“Unequal opportunity is a persistent challenge in many of our communities,” said Marietta Núñez, Senior Vice President and Community Investment Officer at FHLBank San Francisco. “We are pleased that a number of this year’s workforce-related grants will support initiatives targeted to underserved demographic groups like disconnected youth, offering them the opportunity to become part of the workforce for in-demand jobs in digital arts, farming, and construction and related trades, and student DREAMERs, who need support to complete an education that prepares them for jobs in healthcare or technology.”

Funding for AHEAD is determined annually by the Bank’s Board of Directors. Since the program began in 2004, the Bank has awarded over $14.5 million in AHEAD grants to support 515 nonprofit projects and programs in Arizona, California, and Nevada.

FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK OF SAN FRANCISCO
The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco is a member-driven cooperative helping local lenders in Arizona, California, and Nevada build strong communities, create opportunity, and change lives for the better. The tools and resources we provide to our member financial institutions–commercial banks, credit unions, industrial loan companies, savings institutions, insurance companies, and community development financial institutions–foster homeownership, expand access to quality housing, seed or sustain small businesses, and revitalize whole neighborhoods. Together with our members and other partners, we are making the communities we serve more vibrant and resilient.

Contact: Mary Long, 415-616-2556 or longm@fhlbsf.com