Programs and services that address social equality, housing and food insecurity will be able to expand and expand their services by helping more needy Seattleites blaze the trail to economic opportunity through multi-year grants from Bank of America. Community Roots Housing and FamilyWorks have been named the 2022 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® winners for their work to break down economic barriers and advance economic opportunity.
Each organization receives a $200,000 grant over two years, comprehensive leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader on topics ranging from increasing financial sustainability to human capital management and strategic storytelling, joins a network of hundreds of peer organizations across the United States and gains the opportunity to access capital to expand their impact. The program continues to be the nation’s largest investment in nonprofit leadership development.
“Seattle nonprofits are the backbone of our community, working side-by-side with individuals, families, and community members to understand and overcome complex and persistent barriers to economic stability and progress. said Kerri Schroeder, president of Bank of America Seattle. “Our approach through Neighborhood Builders is to support diverse nonprofit leaders and direct flexible capital, training, and other resources to position these high-performing nonprofits and their leaders for a long-term success and resilience.”
Community Roots Housing is a public development authority whose mission is to build vibrant and engaged communities. Focusing their work on affordable, equitable, and sustainable development, they own and operate more than 1,600 apartments serving more than 2,200 residents in the Seattle area. Community Roots will use its grants to solidify and document its model of deep partnerships to deliver affordable housing projects that reflect community goals. With this funding, they will be able to support the development of over 1,500 new affordable housing units over the next 5 years – the largest pipeline in their organization’s history – while expanding their work by providing capacity building and technical assistance to local communities.
“Collaborative solutions are crucial when it comes to addressing the scale of the housing crisis in our region,” said Christopher Persons, CEO of Community Roots Housing. “Bank of America’s generous faith in our vision exemplifies the idea of the deep and transformative partnerships needed to meet the ever-changing needs of our region. With their support, we are able to continue to build a community-led development model that centers the priorities of the people who live there.
Since 1995, FamilyWorks has provided nutritious food, essential services, and a supportive community to North Seattle families. Today they operate two food banks, a family resource center and mobile/satellite programs to bring food and family resources to schools, affordable housing communities and other community partners, reaching over 4 000 families per year. To address the growing food insecurity of families and neighbors, FamilyWorks has launched Food Bank Express programs, which include a mobile pantry, grocery SMS pickup, and expanded home delivery service.
“We’ve seen food insecurity and the struggle to meet basic needs skyrocket among families over the past two years, and it’s not slowing down in this high inflation economy,” said Marcia Wright-Soika, executive director of FamilyWorks. “For more than 20 years, our Wallingford food bank has had less than 2,000 square feet for storage and operations, and it’s not designed for the new ways we serve the community. The Bank of America grant will kick-start the expansion and renovation of the food bank, doubling the space, improving its design and increasing our ability to bring nutritious, culturally appropriate food to new communities.
Across the Puget Sound region, 38 nonprofit organizations have been selected as neighborhood builders since 2004, with the bank investing $7.6 million in these local organizations.
The invitation-only program is highly competitive, and organizations are selected by a committee of community leaders and past Neighborhood Builders winners.