NEWPORT BEACH – Bank of America today announced $425,000 in economic mobility grants to be distributed to 18 nonprofits working on community revitalization efforts across Orange County. These nonprofits provide solutions addressing a range of economic development issues from affordable housing and anti-poverty self-sufficiency resources to urban gardens and arts and cultural programming.
According to the Orange County Business Council’s 2017 Community Indicators Report, $27.62 is the minimum hourly wage needed to afford a median-priced one bedroom rental unit in Orange County, yet 68% of local jobs don’t pay this much. Disparities in housing accessibility can inhibit economic growth and small business development, and can further marginalize low-income families and the nearly 5,000 homeless people living in Orange County.
“Investing into neighborhood revitalization initiatives in Orange County is part of our approach to helping people achieve financial stability,” said Allen Staff, Orange County Market President, Bank of America. “We’re honored to partner with nonprofits who are addressing the growing need for key resources like housing and supportive services to build a stronger community.”
One of the nonprofits receiving a grant is Jamboree Housing, who develops affordable housing in low- to moderate-income communities that includes supportive and enrichment services to residents, including those with special needs or mental illness.
“Bank of America’s partnership will help Jamboree expand our strategy for assessing community impact with more focused tools that measure goals and outcomes for our programs and services,” said George Searcy, Senior Vice President of Community Impact at Jamboree Housing. “We are excited to measure and report data on the beneficial effects of our permanent supportive housing and how developing more of it could save our county millions of dollars each year while helping to permanently end chronic homelessness.”
Bank of America is also partnering with nonprofits like the Kennedy Commission that is creating housing opportunities through policy change. The Kennedy Commission’s advocacy and education efforts work toward systemic change to alleviate the affordable housing deficit in Orange County.
“We are honored and excited that Bank of America is recognizing The Kennedy Commission with this grant,” said Cesar Covarrubias, Executive Director for the Kennedy Commission. “Creating affordable housing opportunities in one of the nation’s highest housing cost areas continues to be a challenge. Through our education, advocacy and community engagement, we will continue our efforts to ensure that low income families have a place to call home in Orange County."
Other organizations receiving grants include: Art-A-Fair Foundation, Discovery Science Center of Orange County, Festival of Arts Laguna Beach, Latino Center for Prevention & Action in Health & Welfare, Mercy House Living Centers, Opportunity Fund Northern California, Pacific Symphony, Sawdust Festival, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, South Coast Repertory, Chapman University, Habitat for Humanity Orange County, Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center, One OC, Arts Orange County, and Alegria Farms.
In addition to grants, Bank of America’s philanthropic efforts also focus on employee volunteerism to help building thriving communities with local Bank of America employees volunteering more than 40,000 hours last year.
About Bank of America Environmental, Social and Governance
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter at @BofA_News.