New Loan Closings: The Center at Blessed Sacrament, Sustainable Futures, Urban Youth Alliance
The Center at Blessed Sacrament: Critical services for Hollywood's unhoused communities
$500,000 bridge loan
The Center at Blessed Sacrament (The Center)'s mission is to be an organization devoted to healing and centered on individual wellness and community, to advocate for those in Hollywood without shelter, and to develop and implement solutions that lead to resilience and housing. Its housing programs alone serve more than 400 people each year; count its wellness and outreach programs, and that number swells to 2,000 people. From rapid and recovery housing to art classes to community "coffee hours” with people living on the street, The Center's programs build community in Hollywood for housed and unhoused people alike.
The Center depends on contracts with government agencies for a large portion of its funding. However, agencies typically pay those contracts after nonprofits conduct their programs, not in advance. In addition, the Center's primary funders have delayed paying their contracts due in part to COVID-19 and in part to internal transitions at those agencies. Bridge financing like this loan fills these gaps by ensuring that organizations like The Center have enough cash on hand to pay their staff, keep the lights on, and offer their essential programs. With support from this financing, The Center can continue offering hundreds of homeless Angelenos the housing and wraparound services they depend on to achieve their aspirations.
Sustainable Futures Project: From survival to stability in South Los Angeles
$50,000 working capital loan
Since 2017, Sustainable Futures Project has operated shelters that provide safe housing for dozens of unhoused families in South Los Angeles. When they don’t have stable shelter, families experience barriers to accessing other critical supports like employment, mental health care, and legal services. Together with close partner Special Services for Groups, Sustainable Futures Project helps families overcome these barriers and move from survival to stability.
Sustainable Futures Project is looking to operate more wraparound services and plans to open childcare and Office of Diversion and Reentry (ODR) programs. This loan will provide Sustainable Futures Project with some of the cash they need to rent and redesign facilities and hire staff to run these programs. At the same time, Sustainable Futures Project is working with NFF consultants to budget for these new programs – and track their actual spending against their planned budget. As they grow, Sustainable Futures Project will be able to provide more comprehensive services to families who wouldn’t otherwise have stable places to live.
Urban Youth Alliance: Keeping youth out of jail for life
$500,000 bridge loan
Six words: keep youth out of jail for life. That’s the mission of Urban Youth Alliance, a faith- and youth-based organization in the heart of New York City. The organization’s late founder, Rev. Faith Brown, believed that love never fails – including for those of us in gangs or struggling with drug addiction. So in 1970 she founded Urban Youth Alliance to reach out to and support the people in our communities who many turn their backs on. Today, the organization achieves their mission through a multi-pronged approach: prevention, through conflict resolution workshops and employment programs; intervention, through programs that work with courts to offer alternatives to detention and incarcerations; re-entry, through dedicated case management and employment opportunities for returning youth; and youth-led community organizing and advocacy around criminal justice issues.
Urban Youth Alliance receives much of its funding from contracts with the City of New York. However, like many government agencies, New York City agencies pay nonprofits after work is conducted, not before – and COVID-19 exacerbated delays in these payments that already existed. Supported by the Trinity Church Wall Street Grantee Loan Fund, this financing will bridge some of these delayed payments, ensuring that Urban Youth Alliance can continue to run its critical programs until government funding comes through. With more sustained, reliable funding, Urban Youth Alliance can hire more staff, expand its programs, and keep more young people from entering the criminal justice system.