FHLBank San Francisco Awards $3.5 Million in Grants for Pandemic Relief and Economic Development to 97 Nonprofit Organizations

SAN FRANCISCO – September 23, 2020 – The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco awarded $3.5 million in grants to 97 nonprofits through its 2020 AHEAD Program. The grants, delivered by FHLBank San Francisco member financial institutions to nonprofits in Arizona, California, and Nevada, are aimed at providing both immediate and long-term pandemic relief and boosting economic development in lower-income communities.

AHEAD is an annual economic development grant program. In response to the COVID-19 crisis and its economic shocks, FHLBank San Francisco added $2 million to its planned $1.5 million 2020 AHEAD funding allocation to enable members to support targeted pandemic-related initiatives and the help local nonprofits struggling to adapt to increased costs, loss of staff, and postponed fundraising campaigns tied to the pandemic.

“In this uniquely challenging and uncertain time, we are pleased that our members are partnering with us and with local organizations that bring special expertise to serving their communities,” said Stephen Traynor, Acting President and CEO of FHLBank San Francisco. “These grants will help meet urgent essential needs and also support the longer journey to recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.” 

Members partner with nonprofits to use AHEAD grants to advance a variety of economic development initiatives, especially jobs-related programs targeted to underserved populations. With additional dollars and expanded eligible uses, this year’s $3.5 million AHEAD Program will also provide crucial funding for nonprofits in Arizona, California, and Nevada newly in need of working capital, infrastructure, or increased capacity to meet the unexpected challenges of the COVID-19 crisis.

FHLBank San Francisco awarded $1.6 million in grants to 45 projects that will boost economic development activity and create greater opportunity in underserved and low-income communities. An additional $1.9 million in funding will be used by 52 nonprofits that are providing immediate and long-term pandemic relief, including food, rental assistance, homeless services, health services, and other support services to individuals, families, and communities most affected by the pandemic.

“Nonprofits provide crucial services and essential resources, including food, shelter, and financial assistance, to people in need,” said Marietta Nunez, Senior Vice President and Community Investment Officer at FHLBank San Francisco. “The pandemic has swelled the number of individuals and families in need. We are pleased that our members have responded so swiftly by securing additional funding for these vital organizations through our AHEAD Program.”  

This year, the Bank reviewed 362 applications before selecting 97 AHEAD grant winners. The grants will be delivered through 65 participating Bank members, including 20 that submitted winning applications for the first time. Individual grant amounts range from $20,000 to $37,500.

Among this year’s 97 grant recipients are: 

African American Community Service Agency: A $37,500 grant through member Meriwest Credit Union will support agency operations and their ability to provide needs-based services to ethnically diverse low-income children, families, and seniors in San Jose and greater Santa Clara County.

Chicanos Por La Causa: A $37,500 grant through member Western Alliance Bank will support expansion of its YouthBuild program and targeted outreach for the program to individuals receiving services at a Las Vegas homeless resource center.

Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission: A $37,500 through member City National Bank will be used to buy a refrigerated truck that will enable the organization to increase essential food deliveries to multiple homeless shelter the Mission operates, which are rapidly increasing capacity to meet new demand for beds as a result of the pandemic.

Mission Economic Development Agency: A $37,500 grant through member First Republic Bank will support a pilot program aimed at helping Latinx and immigrant entrepreneurs shift to an online business model.

Placer Food Bank: A $37,500 grant through member Central Valley Community Bank will be used to purchase a cold storage unit to increase capacity at their distribution hub to meet growing demand for hunger relief as a result of the pandemic.

White Mountain Apache Housing Authority: A $37,500 grant through member Clearinghouse CDFI will be used to support veterans living on the reservation by providing regular transportation to medical appointments and to VA offices where they can apply for benefits.

Since 2004, the Bank has awarded over $18 million in AHEAD Program grants to support over 600 nonprofit projects and programs in Arizona, California, and Nevada.

About Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco

The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco is a member-driven cooperative helping local lenders in Arizona, California, and Nevada strengthen communities, create opportunity, and change lives for the better. The tools and resources we provide to our member financial institutions–commercial banks, credit unions, industrial loan companies, savings institutions, insurance companies, and community development financial institutions–promote homeownership, expand access to quality housing, and boost economic development. Together with our members and other partners, we are making the communities we serve more vibrant, equitable, and resilient.