New Loan Closings: Black Cultural Zone, CicLAvia, Columbia River Mental Health Services, Good Call

October 17, 2022

Black Cultural Zone CDC: Building vibrant, thriving Black communities in East Oakland

$25,000 construction loan (August 2022)

Black Cultural Zone (BCZ) CDC is composed of Black residents, leaders, and community organizers in East Oakland, California. Their mission is to unapologetically center Black arts, culture, and economics to design, resource, transform, and build collective power for Black folks. By building community presence, reactivating real estate, and directing more dollars to community driven projects, BCZ creates opportunities for over 100,000 East Oakland residents to thrive each year.

BCZ is committed to addressing the displacement of Black people and communities in Oakland. One way that BCZ does this is by purchasing and operating commercial and mixed-use properties in East Oakland’s Black Cultural Zone. These spaces are then developed and reactivated for community use – specifically for Black people and Black businesses. Financed through NFF's zero-interest CARE Fund, this loan will support the development of 68 affordable housing units, a market hall, food hub, and more. As they grow, BCZ will be able to activate even more community spaces for Black people, organizations, and businesses to flourish.

CicLAvia: Making memories in Los Angeles’ open streets

$250,000 bridge loan (August 2022)

CicLAvia catalyzes the use of public space and alternative modes of transportation in Los Angeles County neighborhoods by hosting community events where participants can bike, walk, skate, roll, and dance. By temporarily closing public streets and turning them into public parks for the day, CicLAvia connects diverse groups of Angelenos. With less vehicle traffic on the road, CicLAvia events improve air quality, reducing ultrafine air particles by over 20% near event routes. CicLAvia also advocates for pedestrians and bikers through local and regional transportation policies. With each free event averaging 50,000 attendees, CicLAvia is the country’s largest open streets program.

CicLAvia receives much of its funding from government contracts. However, like many government agencies, Los Angeles County agencies pay nonprofits after work is conducted, not before – and COVID-19 exacerbated delays in these payments that already existed. Offered through NFF's zero-interest CARE Fund, this loan will provide a portion of the cash needed to advance costs for an increasing number of events and smooth over cash flow issues caused by delays in government reimbursement. With more sustained, reliable funding in a time of significant growth, CicLAvia can continue investing in the health and well-being of even more Los Angeles County residents.

Columbia River Mental Health Services: Behavioral health services in Southwest Washington

$2,500,000 renovation loan (September 2022)

Columbia River Mental Health Services (CRMHS) is a mental health services provider whose mission is to provide behavioral health and recovery services to children, adults, and families in Southwest Washington, primarily serving people in Clark County. Through therapy, youth programs, substance use treatment, mobile health outreach, and more, CRMHS assists more than 5,000 clients annually – no matter their ability to pay or insurance status.

CRMHS is in the process of moving to a nearly 8,000 square foot building, which they recently acquired. Financed through NFF’s Resilient Communities Fund, this low-interest loan will provide a portion of the funding needed to renovate CRMHS’ new space – increasing the organization’s ability to focus on two important areas of its work. First, the new location will serve as the organization’s primary clinic to meet the immediate needs of clients through its medically assisted treatment substance dependence program, rather than turn them away. Second, it will house CRMHS’ growing Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT), which provides round-the-clock, individualized, in-home mental health outreach services to people in recovery.

Good Call: Human-centered criminal justice system reform in New York City

$200,000 working capital loan (August 2022)

Thirty-two seconds. That is the average amount of time it takes for Good Call to connect a free lawyer to someone who has been arrested, has a warrant out for their arrest, or is engaged with the police. By leveraging technology and community organizing, Good Call provides New York City communities of color with free legal support that could help them prevent the lifelong consequences of wrongful charges. Good Call provides at least 5,000 clients each year with access to early legal intervention – and they are advocating for this to become a standard process in New York City. In 2021 Good Call provided 2,000 callers with free legal help, all of whom qualified as low-income.

Good Call has seen an increase in demand for their services during the pandemic. Financed through NFF’s CARE Fund, which offers 0% interest loans to community-centered nonprofits led by and serving people of color, this loan will help ensure that Good Call can continue to offer their services and be responsive to rising demand for its services. With support from this financing, Good Call can continue offering thousands of individuals in New York City and beyond the legal assistance they need – and transform the criminal justice system’s pre-trial process, one call at a time.

Learn more about NFF’s loan products on the financing page of our website.

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