Social change work is hard and frustrating and wonderful and terrible; it is also, at times, funny, quirky and just plain fascinating. With this blog we hope to capture all that goes into what we do at Capital Good Fund, and we invite you to join the conversation!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

CONTACT: Chip Unruh (Reed), 202-224-4642
Andy Posner (Capital Good Fund), 401-339-5437

RI Non-Profit Wins $81,000 Community Development Grant

PROVIDENCE, RI – Capital Good Fund (CGF), a non-profit financial services organization based in Providence, will receive an $81,273 Community Development Financial Institutions Technical Assistance grant to help revitalize low-income communities in Providence and better serve all of Rhode Island.

“I am pleased Capital Good Fund has won this competitive grant to help revitalize communities in Rhode Island,” said Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee. “Offering loans and financial coaching to communities and small business owners are smart ways to foster economic opportunity and community development.”

“At a time when Rhode Islanders are struggling to get back on their feet after the recession, this grant will enable CGF to empower our clients with the tools they need to better their lives, be it financial counseling, small loans or free tax preparation,” said co-founder and Executive Director Andy Posner. “Rhode Island is such an amazing place to start a social enterprise—I moved here in 2007, started the organization while at Brown and have since been able to grow CGF, create jobs and serve hundreds of Rhode Islanders. I believe in this state, and I think this award from the U.S. Treasury speaks volumes about what Rhode Islanders can achieve when we work together.”

CGF offers one-on-one financial coaching, microloans, and free tax preparation to low-income communities in Providence. To date, CGF has administered 224 loans, totaling over $232,000, provided free tax preparation to 202 families (returning over $275,000 to the community) and served 86 people with individualized financial coaching. CGF will use this grant to hire full and part-time workers, expand its customer base, improve internal operations, train students in financial coaching to low-income Rhode Islanders, and expand its operations from the Greater Providence area to all of Rhode Island in fiscal year 2012.

This competitive grant is administered by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Last week, Reed introduced the Family Self Sufficiency Act to enhance an existing employment and savings incentive initiative for families that have section 8 vouchers (which help provide affordable rental housing assistance) or live in public housing. Specifically, Reed’s legislation broadens the scope of the supportive services that may be offered under the Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program to include attainment of a GED, education in pursuit of a post-secondary degree or certification, and training in financial literacy. Additionally, Reed’s bill expands the reach of the FSS program to more families who are currently excluded due to a technicality related to the kind of housing assistance a family receives.