The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has approved a strategic national grant totaling $300,000 in emergency assistance to the Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Network to maintain vital access to credit for low-income Native American households across the country. The bishops of the CCHD subcommittee approved the grant during their virtual meeting on June 9.
The Native CDFI Network is a 501(c)(3) corporation with over 60 Native CDFIs across 27 states who lend capital to Native American businesses and economically disadvantaged households, providing access to unavailable credit, credit repair, and business technical assistance. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the business closings that followed, many Native CDFIs are experiencing dramatic changes in cash flow, portfolio realignment, and staffing. This strategic national grant will enable the Native CDFI Network to immediately address member concerns, provide top-level expertise in governance, financial management, and board/staffing support to respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bishop David G. O’Connell, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and chairman of the CCHD subcommittee said, “For the last 50 years, CCHD has supported projects that empower low-income communities to address systems and structures that perpetuate poverty. Over the last several months we have seen the coronavirus pandemic disproportionately impact Native American communities throughout the United States. This strategic national grant will provide vital assistance to the Native CFDI Network as they continue their important work supporting and empowering Native American families and communities.”
The Strategic National Grant Program was established by the U.S. bishops as part of CCHD’s Review and Renewal to address urgent regional or national needs, issues, or priorities impacting low-income communities. These grants are intended for organizations working to promote justice or economic development on a significantly larger scale than the community-based organizations that typically receive support from the CCHD. Additional information about the programs and work of CCHD is available online at www.usccb.org/cchd.