New Loan Closings: Colorado Village Collaborative, First Step Staffing, Jenesse Center, Public Health Management Corporation, Sure We Can, Yemeni American Merchants Association

June 5, 2023

Colorado Village Collaborative: Designing innovative housing solutions in Denver

$250,000 bridge loan (January 2023) 

Colorado Village Collaborative (CVC) partners with people experiencing homelessness to create and operate innovative solutions to homelessness: housing that centers on human dignity and design solutions that are affordable, sustainable, and community oriented. Since its founding in 2017, CVC has served over 400 people, operating 46 tiny homes and safe, secure, staffed outdoor spaces equipped with 150 tents for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness. In a world where desensitization to homelessness is often normalized, CVC has focused on offering creative pathways for people to have stable housing. 

Financed through the Metro Denver Nonprofit Loan Fund, this zero-interest loan will help CVC cover organizational and programmatic costs while awaiting reimbursement from various grant programs. With this financing, CVC can continue to build affordable, community-centric, and environmentally friendly housing solutions without interruption as it waits to be reimbursed for its crucial work. 

First Step Staffing: Economic opportunity for all

$1.5 million participation in a $4.5 million working capital loan (April 2023)

First Step Staffing is an Atlanta-based social enterprise that works to secure sustainable income for people otherwise locked out of the employment system, including individuals experiencing homelessness, who have been previously incarcerated, or who are living in chronic poverty, as well as military veterans. First Step provides job placement, transportation to and from work, ongoing job coaching, and on-site job management.

First Step currently operates three sites as standalone companies – in Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles – each with their own debt held by multiple banks. This financing will allow First Step to consolidate its debt from those three sites, which will improve its payment terms and free up operating cash previously dedicated to paying off the debt.

Nonprofit Finance Fund was one of the investors in First Step Staffing’s expansion into Philadelphia and Los Angeles, and this will be NFF’s fourth loan with First Step.

Partners: The Reinvestment Fund, REDF

Jenesse Center: Healing families, connecting communities

$500,000 working capital loan (March 2023)

For 40 years, Jenesse Center has raised awareness about domestic violence and advocated for people’s basic right to peace in their homes and relationships. In addition to housing women and children at emergency and transitional shelters across Los Angeles, Jenesse provides supportive services that include mental health counseling, life skills courses, computer training, job referrals, after-school programs and tutoring for children, and legal support. Jenesse also works to break the generational cycle of violence by educating young people about healthy relationships.

Like many nonprofits, Jenesse contracts with local agencies to provide services, and like many nonprofits, it has seen sustained delays in reimbursements for services it has already provided. Supported by the Hilton Foundation, this zero-interest loan will allow Jenesse to continue running its programs without interruption while waiting for longer-than-average delayed reimbursements for contracts with county agencies.

Learn more about how the Jenesse serves its community in South Los Angeles.

Public Health Management Corporation: An anchor for community health and employment

$3.7 million participation in a $6.2 million bridge loan (March 2023)

Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is a nonprofit public health institute that builds healthier communities through partnerships with government, foundations, businesses, and community-based organizations. PHMC is one of the largest and most comprehensive public health organizations in the country, serving close to 350,000 clients annually with more than 350 programs in 70 locations.

PHMC’s Public Health Campus on Cedar is located on a site that formerly housed Philadelphia’s century-old Mercy Hospital. The site was converted in 2021 into a public health campus housing some of the region’s largest healthcare institutions: Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and PHMC. The site remains an anchor of the community, supporting community health and providing jobs to residents. The campus is undergoing major renovations to improve systems and infrastructure, with total development costs around $90 million. Once completed, the campus will feature an upgraded hospital, inpatient pediatric behavioral health center, primary care medical and dental services, and several residential and non-residential social service programs. As part of a large financing project, NFF’s participation loan with lead lender PIDC will bridge a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Office of the Budget that supports the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects.

Partner: PIDC

Sure We Can: Securing a sustainable community space for canners

$2 million acquisition loan (March 2023)

Sure We Can is a nonprofit recycling center, community space, and sustainability hub in Brooklyn, New York where canners – people who collect cans and bottles from streets to make a living – come together with students and neighbors through recycling, composting, gardening, and arts. Founded in 2007 by canners for canners, Sure We Can’s mission is to support the local community – particularly its most marginalized residents – through social inclusion, environmental awareness, and economic empowerment.

Sure We Can rented the space they operate in for over a decade, and since 2016 the organization has tried to purchase the property. However, they faced a number of financial challenges. NFF’s loan assisted Sure We Can in finally purchasing the property they’ve long sought. In addition to the long-term financial stability that comes with property ownership, Sure We Can plans to expand their workforce, pursue community control and governance, implement green infrastructure projects, and process harder-to-recycle materials. The acquisition was also supported by SeaChange Capital Partners, which provided capital as Sure We Can awaits a $600,000 capital grant from New York State’s Empire State Development.

Yemeni American Merchants Association: Resources, solutions, and community for Yemeni-American merchants and their families

$1.02 million in financing (April 2023)

The Yemeni American Merchants Association (YAMA) seeks to elevate Yemeni American merchants and their families through education, civil rights advocacy, and business and social services support. YAMA was born out of the 2017 Yemeni bodega strike in New York, protesting the executive order that barred travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries – including Yemen – from entering the United States. Through moments of injustice that have disrupted the lives of so many, YAMA has continued to provide Yemeni American merchants and their families peace of mind with guidance, community, and solutions to challenges they face in their daily lives. It is the only Arabic-speaking association serving Arab and Muslim organizations in New York City.

YAMA is expanding from its Brooklyn location to the Bronx where there is a significant demand for its services. This financing will support YAMA as it purchases its first facility, allowing it to maintain operating cash flow so it can continue to provide essential services as it acquires the property and waits for capital campaign proceeds to come in. The new location will have more office space and a community center that will provide computer and ESL (English as a second language) classes as well as youth and family programming.

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

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