Local bank donates $100,000 to Evansville Promise Zone

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Fifth Third Bank will present $100,000 from the Fifth Third Foundation to ECHO Housing Corporation and HOPE of Evansville, directed to the Evansville Promise Zone programs.

The announcement will be made at the downtown Evansville’s Fifth Third Main Branch during a press conference, Thursday at 10 a.m.

The Fund awards grants to designated nonprofit programs that support homeownership, affordable housing, small business development and financial stability for individuals and families.

“We are committed to making community investments that improve lives in the Greater Indiana Region and across our national footprint”, said Market President Dwight Hamilton. “We believe these grants provide meaningful support to the efforts of ECHO Housing and HOPE of Evansville to take advantage of the Promise Zone designation and bring real relief to many of our citizens who need a helping hand.”

The organizations plan to use the money to support their programs to enhance housing, small business and financial literacy within Evansville’s Promise Zone.

The Promise Zone is a federal designation, achieved in 2016, which provides a competitive advantage in competing for grants from 16 federal agencies.

“The Fifth Third Foundation’s generous grant is great news for two trusted community development partners that focus tremendous energy on work within the Promise Zone,” said Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. “Assisting residents into homeownership, generating a structure for more affordable housing and creating business development tools to improve job creation are all important goals of the Promise Zone. This funding will be a tremendous boost as ECHO Housing and HOPE of Evansville partner with the city to support our most vulnerable residents.”

The Zone encompasses roughly two fifths of the City’s geography, with 39% of residents within the Zone living below the poverty level.

“The Strengthening Our Communities grants are important because they result in people’s lives being positively changed and they grant organizations the opportunity to expand their reach,” said Heidi Jark, Managing Director of Fifth Third Foundation. “Through these grants we are able to continue building lasting relationships and help strengthen communities where we serve.”

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(This story was originally published on February 22, 2018)

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