October 17, 2017
Reporters May Contact:
Bank of America
ESOP/Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging
Bank of America Invests $200,000 in ESOP to Advance Economic Mobility through Housing and Financial Counseling Services in Ohio
Support comes as part of Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders® program, which helps nonprofits grow more sustainably in order to build a thriving community
CLEVELAND – Bank of America announces the selection of Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP) as a 2017 Neighborhood Builder®. ESOP, a HUD-approved housing and financial counseling nonprofit agency dedicated to promoting sustainable homeownership, is being recognized for its work to foster financial stability among Ohio homeowners, which in turn, contributes to economic and social progress throughout the state. Through Neighborhood Builders (#NeighborhoodBuilders), the bank provides nonprofits with a unique combination of leadership development (for the executive director and a developing leader in the organization), $200,000 in flexible funding, a network of peer organizations across the U.S. and the opportunity to access capital in order to expand their impact in the communities they serve.
“Nonprofits like ESOP are instrumental to address critical community needs and strengthen the economic health of Ohio,” said Jeneen Marziani, Bank of America's Ohio Market President. “Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders program is just one example of how we deploy capital in communities and build cross-sector partnerships in order to advance economic and social progress, as part of our approach to responsible growth.”
Since 2005, ESOP has assisted more than 35,000 homeowners in all 88 counties across the state of Ohio, including 10,000 in the Cleveland area alone. In 2014, ESOP launched the Senior Financial Empowerment Initiative (SFEI) to help older adults regain and maintain control of their finances. The program has grown four-fold over the past four years and features a variety of client offerings, including senior financial education workshops, ongoing housing counseling and coaching, senior property tax loans, and free income tax preparation and filing. SFEI will remain a top priority as ESOP uses its Neighborhood Builders funding to develop an outcome-based evaluation system, implement additional programming to facilitate aging in place, and meet its overall staffing and training needs.
“ESOP is honored to join the impressive group of nonprofits recognized by Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders program. Bank of America understands the critical role nonprofits play in strengthening the overall economic health of local communities,” said Roslyn Quarto, ESOP Executive Director. “This generous investment of time and resources will have a profoundly positive impact on our vision to create economic opportunity and financial stability for more members of our community.”
Since 2004, through Neighborhood Builders, Bank of America has invested $220 million in nearly 1,000 nonprofits and nearly 2,000 nonprofit leaders across 45 U.S. communities. Neighborhood Builders is a signature demonstration of the bank’s efforts to build thriving communities by advancing economic mobility through a focus on workforce development, community development and basic needs. Through Neighborhood Builders, the bank has helped nonprofits create greater impact in communities and better prepare for the future by providing the tools and resources to develop stronger strategic plans, build cross-sector partnerships, and enhance funding opportunities.
About Bank of America Environmental, Social and Governance
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. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter at @BankofAmerica.
Founded in 1993, Empowering and Strengthening Ohio's People (ESOP) is a HUD-approved housing and financial counseling agency headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. Since 2005, ESOP has assisted over 35,000 homeowners statewide. ESOP was responsible for putting over $117 million back into the community through the Save the Dream Ohio program administered by Ohio Housing Finance Agency. Since 2014, ESOP has helped more than 10,000 low-income seniors age in place with greater financial stability and a reduced risk of financial exploitation through our Senior Financial Empowerment Initiative, an innovative, integrated suite of financial capability programs directed at vulnerable older adults. ESOP is a subsidiary of the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging. Learn more at www.esop-cleveland.org.
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