San Francisco — The Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) has announced that its two ¡Viva! Nonprofit Training & Technical Assistance awards will go to East L.A. Community Corporation (ELACC) in Los Angeles and NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center Sacramento. These grants each include one year of training and technical assistance by MEDA on financial capability integration, as well as $25,000 in implementation funds. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is generously funding MEDA’s work to share this universally applicable model.
States MEDA Director of Asset Building Programs Lucy Arellano on why these two organizations were chosen: “All applicants showcased their impactful work, so this was a highly competitive process. But MEDA was especially impressed by the racial and economic equity lens through which both ELACC and NeighborWorks Sacramento view generational asset building, particularly in low-income, immigrant, and communities of color, which aligns with MEDA’s strategies.”
ELACC will use its grant to incorporate MEDA’s successful client engagement via human-centered design. The goal is also to make client interactions less transactional, aiming for longer-term engagement in generational asset building. This will strengthen ELACC’s work creating land trust coops for homeownership (especially around transit hubs), worker-owned business coops and for personal business development (focused on the E. First St. commercial corridor and the newly legalized Street Vendor program). Explains Director of Community Wealth Elba Schildcrout, “ELACC believes that through our enhanced asset building services, we will see a decrease in the displacement of current Boyle Heights residents — and the preservation of small businesses and cultural spaces by and for the community.”
NeighborWorks Sacramento will use these monies to more effectively reach the Latino community in Sacramento with its financial education services. Specifically, they are seeking to establish better marketing strategies and amend programming to address the needs of these communities. “We plan to work with MEDA to improve our outreach strategies in Latino communities and ensure they know about the asset building services we provide,” says Kara Thomson, HomeOwnership Development Manager, “According to HUD, a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times that of a renter. We can help low- to moderate-income families become well-informed, default-resistant homeowners, and to build their family’s wealth.”
The timing of this effort is critical, as NeighborWorks Sacramento serves many communities of color that are either experiencing or are vulnerable to gentrification. The goal of this financial-capability initiative is to involve members of the Latino community in services that help individuals establish financial stability. From there, NeighborWorks can provide these individuals a full range of housing services to help them successfully purchase a home. As a result, these communities will be strengthened through higher rates of homeownership and the building of generational wealth. Always looking to generate deeper impact with its San Francisco Mission District client base of 7,400 community members, MEDA is looking forward to learning from both of these organizations as well: ELACC excels in organizing; and NeighborWorks Sacramento is strong on housing programs.
Both ELACC and NeighborWorks Sacramento will be at the second of three planned California convenings, as a way to share best practices and explore opportunities for statewide joint advocacy. That second convening will be held in the San Francisco Bay Area in spring 2019.
### About Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
Rooted in the Mission and focused on San Francisco, MEDA’s mission is to strengthen low- and moderate-income Latino families by promoting economic equity and social justice through asset building and community development. medasf.org
About East L.A. Community Corporation
ELACC advocates for economic and social justice in Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles by building grassroots leadership, developing affordable housing and neighborhood assets, and providing access to economic development opportunities for low- and moderate-income families. elacc.org
NeighborWorks Homeownership Center Sacramento
NeighborWorks Sacramento provides opportunities for successful homeownership and strong communities through quality education, affordable lending, housing development, supportive partnerships and dedicated leadership. nwsac.org