Portland, January 23rd, 2014. Low income families will stand a better chance for success thanks to a $100,000 grant from Wells Fargo. The donation to Human Solutions will be used to provide affordable housing, family support services, job readiness training, economic development opportunities, and basic needs assistance to low-income and/or homeless individuals and families, including homeless veterans. Human Solutions is a local social service agency serving outer East Portland and East Multnomah County and is one of 10 grant recipients citywide through Wells Fargo’s NeighborhoodLIFT and Economic Opportunity programs. 

Wells Fargo Community Development Officer Cobi Jackson, Wells Fargo Oregon Regional President Tracy Curtis, Human Solutions Executive Director Jean DeMaster, Wells Fargo Community Affairs Manager Bernie Kronberger, and Wells Fargo Area Sales Manager Kurt Hill.

A total of $600,000 was distributed to 10 nonprofit groups that serve Portland residents in need. Wells Fargo worked in collaboration with the City of Portland and Mayor Charlie Hales to identify nine of the 10 grant recipients, including Human Solutions. The selected organizations address issues that align with some of the city’s priorities: supporting youth, education, diversity, homelessness, affordable healthcare and affordable homeownership. “These nonprofits are actively leading efforts to help stabilize neighborhoods. Based on our discussions with the City of Portland, we believe it appropriate to further support them with local initiative funds from the NeighborhoodLIFT program,” said Kurt Hill, a Portland area manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. 

“This generous grant will help us serve more low-income and homeless families in crisis, and comes at time when demand for our services is greater than ever,” said Jean DeMaster, executive director of Human Solutions. “We are very grateful to Wells Fargo for recognizing the importance of providing opportunities to vulnerable families so they have the tools to become self-sufficient.” 

The other NeighborhoodLIFT program grant recipients include Boys and Girls Clubs of Portland,  $100,000; Hacienda CDC, $50,000; Project Access NOW, $50,000; Self Enhancement, Inc., $50,000; Urban League, $50,000; White Shield (The Salvation Army); $50,000; Community Transitional School, $25,000; and the Portland Opportunities Industrial Center, $25,000. Wells Fargo also gave a $100,000 Economic Opportunity Grant to Mercy Corps Northwest. 

Bernie Kronberger, Wells Fargo Community Affairs Manager; Kurt Hill, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Area Manager; Joe McFerrin, Portland Oregon Industry Council; Marcia Harris, Community Transitional School; Jean DeMaster, Human Solutions; Doug Cooper, Mercy Corps NW; Wells Fargo Regional President Tracy Curtis; Linda Nilsen-Solares, Project Access NOW; Erin Hubert, Boys and Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area; Tony Hopson Sr., Self Enhancement Inc.; Carlos Garcia, Hacienda Community Development Corporation; Joseph Lai, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Area Manager; Diane Brandsma, Salvation Army-White Shield Center; Cobi Jackson, Wells Fargo Vice President, Community Development OR/SW Washington.

“NeighborhoodLIFT and Economic Opportunity are two of the many programs we have created at Wells Fargo to help those who need it the most: low- and moderate-income youths, students, individuals, families, entrepreneurs, seniors and veterans,” said Wells Fargo Regional President Tracy Curtis. “I thank these 10 nonprofit agencies for all the great work they do to help Portland residents achieve success.” 

About Wells Fargo: Serving Oregonians since 1852, Wells Fargo was ranked the most generous bank in Oregon and the most philanthropic company in America last year. It gave $315.8 million and 1.5 million volunteer hours to 19,500 nonprofits around the country in 2012. The community-based company provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores; 12,000 ATMs; and the Internet. More information about Wells Fargo’s community support efforts are posted at wellsfargo.com. 

About Human Solutions: Human Solutions builds pathways out of poverty by promoting self-sufficiency for homeless and low-income families and individuals in East Portland and East Multnomah County. The agency’s four key program areas are homelessness prevention, affordable housing, employment and economic development, and safety net services such as emergency shelter and rent and utility assistance. For more information, visit humansolutions.org.