Tuesday March 20, 2012
Louisville Earns Grant to Boost Financial Empowerment StrategiesAward of $156,000, along with capacity-building support, comes from Living Cities
Louisville will use new grant funding to strengthen its efforts to provide financial education and empowerment opportunities to its most vulnerable citizens.
The $156,000 grant was awarded to Louisville Metro’s Department of Community Services and Revitalization by Living Cities, an innovative philanthropic collaborative of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions whose members include the Ford, Rockefeller and Bill and Melinda Gates foundations. Community Services and Revitalization (CSR) will use the funding to create a model called “Money Talks” with the goal of increasing the capacity to fully integrate economic empowerment strategies into services they and their partners deliver.
“Regardless of the needs that bring a client to Community Services and Revitalization or other partner agencies for assistance, improving their financial stability is the underlying goal,” said Tina Lentz, Executive Administrator for the department who also serves as project manager for the grant. “The Living Cities grant will allow CSR to work with more than a dozen service providers to create the “Money Talks” model. The objective is to build capacity within the agencies and to increase access to financial education and empowerment services.”
As the social services provider for Metro Government, Community Services and Revitalization assists thousands of Louisville residents each year with a variety of programs including emergency financial assistance, household income supports, energy aid and nutrition programs, as well as education, training and employment opportunities. CSR also indirectly serves clients through the distribution of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funds to providers of supportive services to families who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.
“We are investing in a different approach to asset-building in Louisville,” said Ben Hecht, CEO, Living Cities.“Figuring how strategies can be folded into the core of municipal services is critical to improving the lives of low-income people today and into the future. We look forward to seeing how this effort will be fully integrated into the work of Louisville’s frontline service providers.”
The partners currently working with Community Services and Revitalization include the Coalition for the Homeless, Network Center for Community Change (NC3), Consumer Credit Counseling Service, Louisville Urban League, Family Scholar House, St. John Center for Homeless Men, Salvation Army, Family Health Centers, Bellewood, New Directions Housing Corporation, Family & Children’s Place, YMCA, Wayside Christian Mission, The Center for Women and Families, Choices, Inc. and Volunteers of America.
“The opportunity to receive the Living Cities grant will allow Community Services and Revitalization and our partners to champion the movement for further integration of asset-building strategies that can help address the ever-increasing demand on public resources,” said Adria Johnson, acting director for CSR. “Our hope is this model may be replicated by other social service providers to create a much broader system-wide change.”
For more information about the Department of Community Services and Revitalization (CSR) and the “Money Talks” program, visit www.louisvilleky.gov/csr
#### Living Cities'
mission is to harness the collective power of philanthropy and financial institutions to improve the lives of low-income people and the cities where they live. The grant awarded to Community Services and Revitalization will continue through June 2013.