Each New Jersey Organization Will Receive $200,000 in Flexible Funding and Leadership Training

PATERSON, N.J. and TRENTON, N.J., Dec. 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Two nonprofits addressing New Jersey's economic mobility and underserved neighborhoods will expand their impact footprint with help from a multi-year $200,000 grant from Bank of America. Anchor House and CUMAC Echo Inc. have been named as the 2023 Neighborhood Builders® awardees for their work toward decreasing food insecurity and youth homelessness in New Jersey.

Anchor House (left), CUMAC (right)

Anchor House helps to prevent and end youth homelessness while preparing youth to live productive and independent lives. Responding to critical needs in the community, Anchor House provides the only youth shelter, transitional living, and street outreach program targeting youth in Mercer County, and one of two supportive housing programs in the county for young adults. In addition, they offer a trauma informed care approach in all their programs.

The new grant funding will assist in hiring staff and opening a clinical department to increase mental and behavioral health services in Mercer County, expand the Rapid Rehousing Program and explore direct leasing through building acquisition/ownership, purchase a programmatic database and more.

"This year, Anchor House is celebrating 45 years of service to prevent and end youth homelessness in Mercer County," said Kim McNear, executive director, Anchor House. "A recent report shows that there was a 34% increase in homelessness in Mercer County between 2022 and 2023 and that in 2023, 28% of those experiencing homelessness in this community were youth under 18, demonstrating the need for Anchor House's programs. This impactful grant from Bank of America will help us continue to provide hope and life-changing programs to hundreds of youth, while also executing our three-year strategic plan."

CUMAC is the largest anti-hunger organization in Passaic County, serving families in Paterson for more than 38 years. At CUMAC, ending hunger is about addressing the root cause, trauma. Their mission is to fight hunger and its root causes through a holistic, trauma-informed strategy that provides groceries and necessities to those in need. CUMAC's long term vision to address trauma is to give power and resources to residents and to create a self-healing community in Passaic County.

Funds awarded to CUMAC will go towards their ability to provide individuals and families with secure vital resources such as fresh and healthy foods, a cost that has doubled over the last year. In addition, CUMAC will use the grant to build on their supportive services to create a one-stop comprehensive social services agency.

"Being named a Bank of America Neighborhood Builder is such an honor," said Jessica Padilla Gonzalez, chief executive officer, CUMAC. "Our nonprofit is always appreciative of partners who believe in our approach to anti-hunger work and trauma-informed programming. We look forward to building our services and portfolio with this funding – it is surely going to make an impact in Paterson."

In addition to the grant, each organization will receive comprehensive leadership training for their executive director and additional training for an emerging leader at the organization. The training will include topics ranging from increasing financial sustainability, human capital management and strategic storytelling.

McNear and Alashia Mays, case manager for the Connect to Home Program, will represent Anchor House during leadership training. Gonzalez and Program Manager, Katherine Guerrero will represent CUMAC.

"Anchor House and CUMAC address significant needs in our New Jersey communities," said Alberto Garofalo, president, Bank of America New Jersey. "Providing these nonprofits with flexible funding and leadership training not only positions them for sustainable, long-term success, but also demonstrates our commitment to creating real change in the places where we live and work."

Bank of America's Neighborhood Builders® is an invitation-only highly competitive program and one of the largest philanthropic investments into nonprofit leadership development in the nation. Nonprofits are selected by a committee comprised of community leaders and past Builders awardees.

Since 2004, Bank of America has invested more than $300 million in nearly 100 communities across the U.S., partnered with more than 1,600 nonprofits, and helped more than 3,000 nonprofit leaders strengthen their leadership skills through the Neighborhood Builders and Champions program.

Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 69 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 3,900 retail financial centers, approximately 15,000 ATMs (automated teller machines) and award-winning digital banking with approximately 57 million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BAC).

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Reporters May Contact:
AnnMarie McDonald, Bank of America
Phone: 1.332-234-8635


(PRNewsfoto/Bank of America Corporation)

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