FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BancorpSouth Bank (NYSE: BXS) and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) recently awarded a $500,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant to support temporary housing for the homeless in Okaloosa County, Florida.
The grant, which was awarded to Community Solutions of the Emerald Coast, Inc., will help build 50 new units of temporary housing for the homeless. The grant was announced to the community during a ceremony at the First Baptist Church Life Center in Fort Walton Beach.
“For us this grant means that we will be able to actualize our vision and end the cycle of homelessness in Okaloosa County,” said Nathan Monk, executive director of Community Solutions of the Emerald Coast. “We will have enough space for every person living on the streets of Okaloosa County. And that’s profound for us. It means no one will have to sleep on the streets anymore.”
Andy Stein, BancorpSouth president – Northwest Florida division, said the bank believes in what Community Solutions is doing to address homelessness in the area.
“It has been an issue here for some time,” he said. “Community Solutions is at the cutting edge of local efforts to try to solve the problem.”
BancorpSouth worked with FHLB Dallas to provide the first $100,000 AHP grant to Community Solutions of the Emerald Coast in 2016 to build its initial 10-bed facility.
Mr. Monk said the capacity in that building was expanded to 25. The new AHP grant will enable the organization to build a second building for 50 men. The existing building will then be devoted to serving women.
“We will be the first facility for single women in Okaloosa County,” he said.
Mr. Monk said what really sets the facility apart is that it provides onsite, personalized case management, onsite job training and finance classes.
“We are one of the few shelter programs in the nation that has onsite clinical, physical and psychological therapy services with the Hollingsworth Health Clinic located right on our property,” he said. “Without the partnership of BancorpSouth and FHLB Dallas, we would not have been able to see this through. It is so important for us to have their help now and in the future.”
Mr. Stein added: “We are really fortunate to have FHLB Dallas as a partner to help us expand our efforts with our community partners.”
The AHP assists FHLB Dallas member institutions like BancorpSouth Bank, in financing the purchase, construction and/or rehabilitation of homes, benefiting households with incomes at or below 80 percent of the area’s median income.
FHLB Dallas awards AHP grants annually, through member institutions, to support the creation or rehabilitation of affordable housing units, among other projects. In 2019, FHLB Dallas, in partnership with its member financial institutions, has awarded $16.3 million in AHP grants to 34 projects in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas, which will result in the creation or rehabilitation of 2,057 housing units.
“Homelessness is a problem that communities across the nation need to solve,” said Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas. “The holistic approach taken by Community Solutions of the Emerald Coast, in our opinion, shows great promise. Because of that, we were happy to partner with BancorpSouth, and offer this deserving nonprofit a $500,000 grant to dramatically increase its capacity for serving the homeless in Okaloosa County, Florida.”
Visit fhlb.com/ahp for more information on the AHP.
About BancorpSouth Bank
BancorpSouth Bank (NYSE: BXS) is headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi, with approximately $20 billion in assets. BancorpSouth operates more than 300 full service branch locations as well as additional mortgage, insurance, and loan production offices in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas, including an insurance location in Illinois. BancorpSouth is committed to a culture of respect, diversity, and inclusion in both its workplace and communities. To learn more, visit our Community Commitment page at bancorpsouth.com. Like us on Facebook; follow us on Twitter: @MyBXS; or connect with us through LinkedIn.
About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank system created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $73.8 billion as of September 30, 2019, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced advances and other credit products to approximately 815 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. Visit fhlb.com for more information.