On September 25, 2019, Wells Fargo & Company announced $300,000 in donations to four local nonprofits that will help revitalize Orlando, Florida neighborhoods through the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT® program.
Three of the grants will focus on strengthening the Parramore neighborhood, and the fourth grant will support affordable housing initiatives in Kissimmee.
“Through these grants, our NeighborhoodLIFT program continues its commitment to support communities here in Central Florida,” said Wells Fargo’s A.J. Adamczack, Home Mortgage market manager for North and Central Florida.
“We want to assist local nonprofits as they continue their great work of implementing programs that help address housing affordability, workforce development and small business growth in our region,” he added.
In addition, Wells Fargo recently announced 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 across the U.S. and an increased focus on financial health and small business growth.
NeighborhoodLIFT local initiative grants will be awarded to the following local nonprofits:
- Habitat for Humanity of Greater Orlando and Osceola County — $100,000 for an affordable housing development in Kissimmee that will provide new single-family homes and renovations to existing homes. This will increase accessibility, safety and health standards. The grant also will support collaborative outreach with existing residents and businesses to help the neighborhood thrive. In addition, it will help address the high demand for affordable housing options in the area and aid in responding to the influx of new residents following Hurricane Maria.
- Central Florida Foundation, Inc. — $100,000 for the Parramore Asset Stabilization Fund. In collaboration with the Florida Community Loan Fund and the Community Loan Fund of New Jersey, 46 distressed rental properties — consisting of 83 rental units — have been acquired and are being rehabilitated to address long-term housing affordability in the Parramore neighborhood in Orlando.
- Central Florida Urban League, Inc. — $75,000 in support of community initiatives to strengthen the local economy, workforce development and small business growth, which will benefit Parramore residents and their community.
- Jobs Partnership of Florida, Inc. — $25,000 for its LifeWorks Expansion project, which provides vocational skills training and support to unemployed and underemployed individuals by elevating their workplace abilities and enhancing their employability. This includes a free 12-week course on career planning and skills training achieved through partnerships with local organizations and volunteers. The grant will benefit workforce development efforts in Parramore.
“As the downtown Orlando area grows and evolves, it is important to preserve the rich cultural legacy of the Parramore community for future generations and residents to come,” said Mark Brewer, president and CEO of Central Florida Foundation. “Investing in secure and stable housing for residents of Parramore ensures homes for families that otherwise would have nowhere else to go.”
As part of the Greater Orlando NeighborhoodLIFT program, Wells Fargo donated a $100,000 “Lift the Block” grant to build a new playground for the kids of the Pine Hills neighborhood of Emerald Villas.
On September 21, more than 200 Wells Fargo, Orlando Neighborhood Improvement Corporation (ONIC) and local volunteers joined organizers from KaBOOM! to build a new, safe and fun play space for the children of this local community. The “LIFT the Block” program supports neighborhood revitalization efforts.
Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open, or improve more than 16,700 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers, and served 8.5 million kids.
More than 500 homeowners created in Orlando through LIFT programs:
The Orlando NeighborhoodLIFT program local initiative grants are part of a $6.3 million commitment by Wells Fargo to boost local homeownership and revitalize neighborhoods. A collaboration with NeighborWorks® America, Orlando Neighborhood Improvement Corporation (ONIC), and the Housing Partnership, the NeighborhoodLIFT program has created more than 500 Orlando area homeowners by offering homebuyer education plus down payment assistance grants.
In the wake of the housing crisis, Wells Fargo came together with NeighborWorks America to develop the NeighborhoodLIFT program in 2012. It has been introduced in 73 communities across the U.S. and is the single largest corporate philanthropic effort in Wells Fargo’s history, with a $475 million investment. LIFT programs have created nearly 22,000 homeowners by offering homebuyer education plus home down payments assistance grants. A video about the NeighborhoodLIFT program is posted on Wells Fargo Stories.
Featured photo (by Ebyabe via Wikipedia) shows the Holden-Parramore Historic District of Orlando, Florida.