Community L.I.F.T. (LIFT) has awarded $212,212 in CDC Capacity Fund grants to 11 community development corporations (CDCs).
This year’s recipients are Alcy Ball CDC, Crosstown CDC, The Heights CDC, Jacob’s Ladder, Midtown Memphis, Oasis of Hope, Power Center, Promise Development Corp., SCORE CDC, United Housing and Victorian Village.
The grants support on-the-ground organizations working to respond to the impact of COVID-19 and improve access to quality affordable housing and to economic opportunity. They are in keeping with Community LIFT’s conviction that “when invested in, nurtured, and operating with sufficient capacity, CDCs can deliver and support marginalized residents at this critical time when so many are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19.”
Eric Robertson, Community LIFT president, put the grants in context of a “real unemployment rate” that he said is projected to reach between 20 per cent and 30 percent in the coming months.
“We can expect to see even higher rates in many of Memphis’ impoverished neighborhoods,” he said. “The only way to reverse that level of devastation is through significant investments in economic and community development work that meets people where they are, being done by organizations who know their people.”
Community LIFT is a community and economic development intermediary. Its mission is to accelerate the revitalization of disinvested neighborhoods. The strategy to do that involves facilitating funding and support to produce strong CDCs, grow neighborhood businesses, and empower residents.
Promise CDC Executive Director Cornelius Sanders said Community LIFT has been one of Promise’s major donors over the last four years.
“It has provided Promise Development with funds that help support our work to end homelessness and provide the North Memphis community with safe, decent and affordable housing,” said Sanders.
Oasis of Hope Executive Director Terry Hoff said, “The grant partnership with Community LIFT will greatly increase our capacity to explore and launch potentially the largest holistic development in our organization’s history — including affordable housing, children’s playground, youth sports field and senior services.”
(To learn more about this year’s recipients, visit www.communitylift.org.)