Bank of America Provides the Center for Family Justice and Fellowship Place, Inc. Funding and Leadership Training to Advance Economic Mobility in Southern Connecticut

Friday, November 22, 2019

$200,000 in Funding and Leadership Resources are Part of the Bank’s Neighborhood Builders® Program, Which Strengthens Nonprofit Leadership to Help Communities Thrive

BRIDGEPORT and NEW HAVEN, CT -- The Center for Family Justice and Fellowship Place, Inc. have been named as the 2019 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® awardees for Southern Connecticut. The nonprofits were selected for their work in the Southern Connecticut area to address issues fundamental to economic mobility, including breaking the cycle of abuse and violence by providing services that drive social change and serving adults with mental illness by offering support and rehabilitation services.

As an awardee, each organization receives a $200,000 grant, a year of leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader at the organization, a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and the opportunity to access capital to expand their impact. Over the past 15 years, Bank of America has invested $240 million in 49 communities through Neighborhood Builders, partnering with more than 1,000 nonprofits and helping more than 2,000 nonprofit leaders strengthen their leadership skills. 

“The Center for Family Justice and Fellowship Place, Inc. are worthy recipients of the Neighborhood Builders grant, and we are excited and proud to partner with them,” said William Tommins, Bank of America market president for Southern Connecticut. “Bank of America believes the Neighborhood Builders program is an excellent opportunity to invest in nonprofit leaders in the community who are tackling tough challenges.  The combination of funding and leadership development that accompanies the Neighborhood Builder designation will make a real difference to both organizations and the communities overall.”

Through education and community collaboration, the Center for Family Justice provides services that create hope, restore lives, and promote social change to break the cycle of abuse and violence. The Southern Connecticut market has had a long and increasing partnership with the Center for Family Justice through funding, employee volunteerism and collections. 

“The Center for Family Justice is overwhelmingly grateful for being honored as one of the Recipients of Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders Grant,” said Deb Greenwood, CEO and president of The Center for Family Justice. “The future of victims of domestic violence and their children will be transformed and supported into the future with our ability to expand critical services that will help them through the trauma, they’ve experienced, become self-sufficient to lead an abusive free and productive life as a survivor!”

Highly recommended by local community partners as well as employees who have been involved in the work, Fellowship Place, Inc. strives to promote independence, wellness, and a meaningful life by serving adults with mental illness. The organization offers a full range of therapeutic support and rehabilitation services for residents of the Greater New Haven area.

“Fellowship Place is overwhelmed with pride and appreciation for being selected as one of Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders.  This award is a capstone on Fellowship Place’s 60 year history of providing community supports for individuals suffering with mental illness, said Mary Guerrera, executive director for Fellowship Place. “The men and women served by the agency face challenges such as poverty, unemployment, homelessness, and social isolation.  The Neighborhood Builders grant will help us expand Supported Employment services, including job training and job placement, for individuals with a mental illness and criminal justice involvement.  We also look forward to creating opportunities for community dialogue about mental illness.”

Since 2007, through its Neighborhood Builders program, Bank of America has partnered with 19 nonprofits in Southern Connecticut, investing $3.8million to provide financial education and economic mobility opportunities within the Southern Connecticut area. The invitation-only program is highly competitive, and leading members of the community participated in a collaborative selection process to identify this year’s awardees. Examples of the leadership training topics include human capital management, increasing financial sustainability, and storytelling. Neighborhood Builders is just one example of how Bank of America deploys capital in communities, builds cross-sector partnerships, and promotes socioeconomic progress as part of its approach to responsible growth.

Bank of America
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact.

Photo: Bill Tommins, Bank of America Southern CT. Market President, Deb Greenwood, CEO and President for the Center for Family Justice, Anne Demchak, President of the Board of Fellowship Place, Inc., Andy Sieg, President of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Bank of America.



Tara Burke
Bank of America

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