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PAB Make Site Visit to Organizations Serving People in Need in Detroit

August 8, 2016, Detroit, Michigan – Many people might write off Detroit as a “lost cause” because of the well-known poverty and violence afflicting this town. However, Lura Mack and Kristine Cooper, director and executive assistant, respectively, of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB), spent a day visiting a variety of organizations that have made a difference for the individuals and communities in this troubled city.

For more than 40 years, the PAB has helped the Adrian Congregation to use its financial assets to further the values of the Gospel in the economic realm, through the wings of corporate responsibility and community investment. During a recent tour of Detroit hosted by IFF Detroit. The PAB has granted low-interest loans to IFF Detroit for its work, in turn, in lending to organizations that “create opportunities for low-income communities and people with disabilities.”

During the tour, Lura and Kris visited three organizations that have received low-interest loans from IFF Detroit:

  • The Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation (DHCD), begun in 1979 by Angela Reyes in response to the violence in her community, serves more than 5,000 low-income people. DHCD’s first initiative was the Gang Retirement and Continuing Education and Employment Program (GRACE),which helps gang members to turn their lives around and work in local Hispanic-owned manufacturing companies.  The organization also provides bilingual support, child care support, community organization, and advocacy to bring about a change in policies that affect the people in the local community. Through a loan from IFF, the organization was able to refinance its existing debts.

  • Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corporation (CDC), founded in 1994 by six local churches, provides people in the community with positive opportunities through education, employment, and economic development. The CDC purchased 11 businesses and now operates eight of them to create jobs and provide needed goods and services. A loan from IFF helped to cover renovation costs for a vacant church that now serves as CDC’s home.

  • Detroit’s Downtown Boxing Gym (DBG) Youth Program, founded in 2007 by Carlo Sweeney, helps urban boys and girls to develop good citizenship through a “demanding boxing program, strong academic support, and volunteer work.” Children in the program – ages seven to 18 – receive tutoring, mentoring, physical training, transportation, and a daily meal and, in turn are required to continue improving their academic performance. The loan from IFF allowed DBG to renovate a vacant building to provide services to more youth. 

“The trip reminded me of the ‘bus trips’ the Adrian Dominican Sisters used to provide when they first began doing this work as a way to educate the members about where their dollars were being invested in the community,” Lura said. “What a great experience and inspiration to see first-hand how the investment dollars are being used to benefit these organizations as they provide creative opportunities and hope to individuals.”

 

Lura Mack (third from left) and Kris Cooper (fourth from left) with staff members from the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation.

PAB Announces Loan Investments to Four Community Organizations

June 15, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – The Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB) of the Adrian Dominican Sisters is sending out low-interest loans to four community service organizations. The loans – sent to organizations from Oklahoma and California to Maryland and South Carolina – were recommended by the PAB and approved by the Congregation’s General Council. The funds are scheduled to be sent out on June 15 to:

  • Staff members of the Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation, located in Shawnee, Oklahoma. 
    Citizens Potawatomi Community Development Corporation (CPCDC). This certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) provides several kinds of loans – from microloans and business loans to asset-building Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) to Citizen Potawatomi Tribal members and other Native Americans throughout the United States. The loan from the Congregation will be pooled with those from other capital investors to make small business and micro-loans to at-risk Native American households in Oklahoma. CPCDC, founded in 2003 and headquartered in Shawnee, Oklahoma, also offers financial education workshops and small business development services. The organization’s mission is to “promote, educate, and inspire entrepreneurial growth and financial well-being of the Citizen Potawatomi National tribal community.”

  • Morro Del Mar, a 21-unit tax credit rental project for seniors, is located in Morro Bay, California.
    San Luis Obispo County Housing Trust Fund (SLOCHTF). Founded in 2003, this non-profit organization makes loan funds available to very low through moderate-income residents of San Obispo County, California, filling a niche between financing offered by banks and government housing programs. The Housing Trust Fund offers more flexible and favorable terms than banks and is generally more responsive and flexible than government housing programs. The Congregation has already made a loan to SLOCHTF; the recently-approved loan will be used as loan capital to finance affordable housing projects for lower-income households. Since 2005, when the organization first offered loans, it has provided more than $17 million to finance 641 units of affordable housing.

  • Families take part in National Night Out in August 2015.
    St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center. St. Ambrose aims to “create, preserve, and maintain equal housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income people primarily in Baltimore City and encourage and support strong and diverse neighborhoods.” The loan from the Adrian Dominican Congregation – with loans from other sources – will support a multi-year, multi-phase project to preserve, stabilize, and expand St. Ambrose’s rental portfolio to provide quality affordable housing to low-income Baltimore households headed by single women with dependent children. The 310 affordable rental units owned and managed by St. Ambrose are a significant source of stability for hundreds of households in Baltimore City and County.


  • Midlands Housing Trust Fund Executive Director Brian Huskey at the groundbreaking of Phase II of Village at River's Edge, a 124-unit, multi-family tax credit development in Columbia, South Carolina.
    Midlands Housing Trust Fund (MHTF). This non-profit organization provides financing, technical assistance, and advocacy for the construction, rehabilitation, and preservation of affordable housing in the Midlands of South Carolina. While the Congregation has already invested in a low-interest loan in MHTF, the additional loan will be used to expand the organization’s service area to include 15 counties, most of which are rural with high rates of poverty. The Congregation’s loan will be used in areas which have no other funding. When formerly rent-burdened households receive access to affordable housing, they have more money to spend on other necessities, such as transportation, health care, food and clothing. Midlands places high priority on lending for the creation of permanent service-enriched housing for individuals and families who are homeless.

Founded more than 40 years ago, the PAB was a response to the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ vision for social change. Firmly rooted in the tradition of Catholic social teachings, the PAB helps the Congregation to advocate for social justice in two ways. Through Community Investments work, the PAB offers low-interest loans to non-profit community organizations that benefit low-income people and underserved communities. The PAB Corporate Responsibility arm monitors the Congregation’s investments and engages in shareholder activities on matters of justice involving corporations in which the Congregation invests.  

Feature photo: Members of the St. Ambrose community get ready to volunteer for YouthWorks.



 

 

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