With the grant, the Minneapolis Urban League will operate a Financial Opportunity Center offering clients a set of focused services in three overlapping areas:
• Employment – including assistance with job readiness, job placement, occupational skills training, education and career advancement.
• Benefits and work supports – helping clients gain access to public benefits, tax credits, financial aid and other benefits to improve their financial security.
• Financial services – workshops, classes, one-on-one counseling and access to well-priced financial products and services to help clients improve their household finances and build assets.
The grant is funded through the Wells Fargo's NeighborhoodLIFTSM program that was launched in 2012. For the Twin Cities, Wells Fargo is providing $575,000 in grants to promote financial and neighborhood stability, and affordable housing, in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The program is an innovative effort created to help stabilize neighborhoods and help people buy homes by making properties more affordable with down payment assistance available for eligible prospective buyers.
In addition to local grants, the NeighborhoodLIFT program is helping further the nation's housing recovery by providing down payment assistance to help more local families achieve successful, sustainable homeownership. In the Twin Cities, Wells Fargo made a $9 million investment as part of a program that included $15,000 down payment assistance grants, homebuyer support programs and local initiatives to help consumers achieve successful, sustainable home ownership. Wells Fargo collaborates with the Wells Fargo Foundation, the non-profit organization NeighborWorks America and its local affiliate, Minneapolis Neighborhood Housing Services, to implement the program.
The NeighborhoodLIFT program is collaboration between Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., the Wells Fargo Foundation, NeighborWorks America, an independent non-profit organization, and local non-profit organizations. The NeighborhoodLIFT program is designed to provide sustainable homeownership initiatives in cities deeply affected by the housing crisis. A video about the NeighborhoodLIFT program is posted at www.youtube.com/wellsfargo.