SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco has awarded $1.5 million in grants through its 2018 Access to Housing and Economic Assistance for Development (AHEAD) Program. The grants, which are made through the Bank’s member financial institutions, will be used by nonprofit organizations in Arizona, California, and Nevada to advance innovative economic development initiatives and foster community stability and self-sufficiency.

The AHEAD Program enables Bank members to give a critical boost to local programs and projects that target pressing community development needs by creating or preserving jobs, supporting a nonprofit’s organizational and capacity-building activities, or delivering social services, training and education, and other vital services and programs.

“Our AHEAD Program is a way to facilitate and strengthen relationships between Bank members and nonprofits that are working to spur economic development and create opportunity in low- and moderate-income communities,” said Greg Seibly, president and chief executive officer of FHLBank San Francisco. “This year’s grant winners bring both expertise and creativity to addressing pressing local needs, and we are pleased to provide resources for these important initiatives.”

This year, the Bank reviewed 192 applications before selecting 54 AHEAD grant winners. The grants will be made through 31 participating Bank members, including 9 that are first-time AHEAD grant recipients. Grant amounts range from $10,000 to $50,000.

The AHEAD Program supports a wide variety of innovative economic and community development initiatives each year. Among this year’s 54 winners are:

EARN will receive a $50,000 grant, through member City National Bank, to expand its successful SaverLife incentivized savings program to low-income working families in Nevada.

Hack the Hood will receive a $30,000 grant, through member First Republic Bank, to train at-risk youth in Oakland to design and build professional websites for local small businesses at no charge.

Petaluma People Services will receive a $30,000 grant, through member Bank of Marin, to create an employment program in the North Bay for low-income women who are aged 50 and over.

Red Feather Development will receive a $35,000 grant, through member Mohave State Bank, to help members of the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe in Arizona identify and remediate health and safety risks in their homes.

Sierra Business Council will receive a $40,000 grant, through member Northern California Community Loan Fund, to support the Council in its efforts to provide technical assistance and alternative capital to microbusinesses in the rural Sierra Nevada region of Northern California.

Society for disABILITIES will receive a $35,000 grant, through member Farmers & Merchants Bank of Central California, to create a durable medical equipment repair training program in conjunction with a free medical equipment closet that serves people with physical disabilities in Modesto.

Women’s Economic Ventures will receive a $20,000 grant, through member Rabobank, to help small businesses in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties that were damaged or adversely affected by devastating wildfires and mudslides during the last year.

“It’s inspiring to see the multiple ways that our members connect with nonprofit organizations to create jobs, promote entrepreneurship, and help build wealth,” said Marietta Núñez, vice president and community investment officer at FHLBank San Francisco. “We are pleased that a number of this year’s grants will support initiatives that are designed to do these three things in creatively sustainable ways, such as by establishing social enterprises that will generate significant revenue to support the valuable and sustainable job training and workforce development programs they are providing for their communities.”

Funding for AHEAD is determined annually by the Bank’s Board of Directors. Since the program began in 2004, the Bank has awarded over $13 million in AHEAD grants to support 459 nonprofit projects and programs in Arizona, California, and Nevada.

FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK OF SAN FRANCISCOThe Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco delivers low-cost funding and other services that help member financial institutions make home mortgages to people of all income levels and provide credit that supports neighborhoods and communities. The Bank also funds community programs that help members create affordable housing and promote community economic development. The Bank’s members are headquartered in Arizona, California, and Nevada and include commercial banks, credit unions, industrial loan companies, savings institutions, insurance companies, and community development financial institutions.

Contact:Mary Long, 415-616-2556, longm@fhlbsf.com