On August 1, 2019, Wells Fargo & Company (WFC) announced $500,000 in donations to four local nonprofits to support housing, education and revitalization in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois residents.
“The work being done by these nonprofits will empower families and individuals by providing new opportunities in key areas such as housing, education, community resources and more,” said Nirag Patel, Wells Fargo community banking district manager in Chicago. “We’re hopeful this effort will make a positive impact in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago.”
The Wells Fargo grants are intended to support neighborhood revitalization efforts through the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT® program funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation.
NeighborhoodLIFT local initiative grants will be awarded to the following Chicago nonprofits:
- Austin Coming Together will receive $50,000 to organize local leaders and organizations to implement Year 1 of the Austin Quality-of-Life Plan, a comprehensive five-year plan designed to improve the neighborhood by addressing key areas such as economic empowerment and education;
- Jane Addams Resource Corporation will receive $50,000 for its Careers in Manufacturing Program to provide low-income adults with technical skills training combined with support services such as asset- and credit-building strategies; public benefits screening; and employment coaching to develop skills needed for life and work;
- Local Initiatives Support Corporation – Chicago will receive $100,000 for technical support and capacity building in support of development projects identified by the Austin Quality-of-Life Plan, particularly for economic revitalization; a revitalized community spirit built on cultural and recreational assets; and a vibrant real estate market that supports homeowners and affordable housing; and
- Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago will receive $300,000 for the Austin Community Revitalization Initiative to provide significant home repairs to 25 owner-occupied, low- to moderate-income households in the Austin community. This initiative will leverage continued efforts to reduce neighborhood blight, increase community investment, and bring the total number of homes served by the initiative to more than 200.
More than 900 homeowners created in Chicago through LIFT programs
The Chicago NeighborhoodLIFT program local initiative grants are part of an $18 million commitment by Wells Fargo to boost local homeownership and revitalize neighborhoods in Chicago.
The NeighborhoodLIFT program, and other LIFT programs, have assisted more than 900 Chicago homeowners by offering homebuyer education plus down payment assistance grants. The 2018 Chicago NeighborhoodLIFT program was a collaboration with NeighborWorks® America and its network members Westside Housing and Beyond Housing.
As the single largest corporate philanthropic effort in Wells Fargo’s history, with a $474 million investment, LIFT programs have created nearly 22,000 homeowners at 73 events nationwide since 2012 by offering homebuyer education plus home down payment assistance grants. A video about the NeighborhoodLIFT program is posted on Wells Fargo Stories.
This follows Wells Fargo’s recent announcement of an evolution of the company’s philanthropic strategy that includes a $1 billion commitment to address the housing affordability crisis, a $20 million challenge grant aimed at accelerating housing solutions nationwide and an increased focus on financial health and small business growth.
Featured photo (by Thshriver via Wikipedia) shows the historic F. R. Schock House in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago.