A favorite part of my work is visiting projects to gather stories about the people and places that are making steady progress toward economic recovery.
Through public-private partnerships, Finance Fund and Finance Fund Capital Corporation (FCAP) flow capital into projects located in neglected and overlooked neighborhoods across the state. These investments build community assets and fuel grassroots revitalization efforts that are improving lives and bringing jobs, services, workers, shoppers and further investment into these areas.
Project owners, funding partners and those they serve inspire our team every day. Here are two recent project stories that we hope will inspire you too.
The Childhood League Center
In the midst of the historic buildings on the Fort Hayes Campus in downtown Columbus, a construction crew is swinging steel to create The Childhood League Center’s new 41,000 sq. ft. early childhood intervention and preschool center.
Finance Fund provided $8MM in federal and $2.56MM in state New Markets Tax Credit allocation to attract private investment from Capital One to the project. It’s being built to double The Center’s space and expand programming for vulnerable children under age six who are at-risk or developmentally delayed. The Center’s new one-of-a-kind play scape will be an exciting addition to the classroom learning space. Expect the facility to open later this year.
At its current location, The Center is brimming with bubbly, squirmy, friendly children who are excited about learning and sharing together regardless of their differences. On a recent visit, it was amazing to see a tiny boy named Rocky step away from his walker to proudly climb the stairs on his own. Small miracles like this happen every day at The Center, where warm and loving teachers help children achieve developmental milestones.
The Center anticipates serving 57% more children in its new space to meet the demand for services.
Market on the Green
In UpTown Toledo, a fresh food grocery and community training center are bringing nutrition and opportunity to a recovering urban neighborhood. For years, a 2.5-acre lot and adjacent 4-story building located at the heart of the neighborhood were home to crime, prostitution and drug activity.
Finance Fund provided The UpTown Association with a healthy food grant to assist with early renovations of the project site. Today, the recently opened “Market on the Green” provides fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy in what was once a USDA-certified food desert. The Market is an ideal fit with the mission of ProMedica, and The Ebeid Institute which poured $3.5 million into full renovation of the 34,000 sq. ft. building.
The Market employs 12 workers including Beverly, a neighborhood resident. When she isn’t busy stocking shelves, Beverly is taking classes and studying to become a phlebotomist. She is not, however, a typical grocery worker or student. Her life in UpTown has not been easy. By working as a health care professional, she hopes to fully recover from bankruptcy and eventually retire. Thanks to The Market and its training program, Beverly now has a home, a job, career training and expectations of a brighter future. She describes her work and schooling as “a great blessing.”
We invite you to learn more about Finance Fund and FCAP’s work by reading project success stories found on our website. If you’d like to discuss funding opportunities, please contact Director of Development Valerie Heiby, email@example.com. If you have a project in mind, please contact Lending Officer Omar Elhagmusa, firstname.lastname@example.org .