Foundation and Focused Community Strategies foster better living for ATL residents
ATLANTA – October 9, 2019 – Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta’s impact investment fund, the GoATL Fund (GoATL), has closed on a $500,000 loan to Focused Community Strategies (FCS) to boost a successful affordable housing initiative. The investment will fund the acquisition and rehabilitation of blighted single-family homes located in the Historic South Atlanta neighborhood. The homes will be transitioned to affordable and workforce housing, enabling people to live near where they work while creating a stable living arrangement for their families.
FCS works to build thriving communities from the ground up through innovative and collaborative development. This work results in the best of both worlds, rehabilitating homes, removing rundown homes, starting small businesses and engaging neighborhood residents to strengthen inclusive communities. In one neighborhood alone, FCS has boosted home ownership from 10 percent to more than 50 percent in the last 20 years.
“Focused Community Strategies partners with neighborhoods and works alongside residents, businesses and other partners to create communities where individuals and families can live, work and prosper,” said Mark Crosswell, managing director, social impact strategy at Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. “Their work is perfectly aligned with what GoATL strives to achieve – investments that prioritize measurable social outcomes as well as a financial return.”
This investment marks a total of $6.25 million now advancing affordable housing, education and small business development through the GoATL Fund. Launched in 2018, GoATL is the first impact investing fund of its kind in Georgia and enhances the Community Foundation’s traditional grantmaking through flexible, low-cost loans that seek measurable social returns. In its first year alone, GoATL investments sparked 320 multi-family affordable housing units, 25 affordable single-family homes, 15 small business loans and one new school that will grow to nearly 650 students at capacity.
“The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has been a valuable, long-term partner for FCS through it’s grantmaking programs,” said Jim Wehner, president with FCS. “Now, with this investment from the GoATL Fund, we’re taking our partnership to the next level, one where we are both financially and socially invested in the success of thriving families and prosperous communities.”
The GoATL Fund invests flexible debt in initiatives that address the Community Foundation’s five impact areas: arts, community development, education, nonprofit effectiveness and well-being. To create efficiencies and leverage even more capital, GoATL often partners with intermediaries like FCS, and other Community Development Financial Institutions (CFDIs), that have the knowledge and expertise to effectively structure loan capital to support solutions addressing critical needs in our region.
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About the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
Since 1951, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has been connecting the passions of philanthropists with the purposes of nonprofits doing that work. With 67 years serving the 23-county Atlanta region and a robust team of experts, the Community Foundation manages the behind-the-scenes details, empowering our donors to focus on the joy of giving. The Community Foundation is a top-20 community foundation nationally with approximately $1.1 billion in current assets and is Georgia’s second largest foundation. Launched in 2018, the GoATL Fund provides innovative and flexible capital designed to scale and sustain social solutions of critical importance to our community. Started with an initial allocation of $10 million from the Community Foundation, the GoATL Fund is now open to receive new capital from the Community Foundation’s donor community. For more information, visit: GoATL Fund, cfgreateratlanta.org or connect with the Foundation via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
About Focused Community Strategies
Focused Community Strategies (FCS) partners with under-resourced neighborhoods to provide innovative and holistic development that produces flourishing communities where God’s Shalom is present. FCS has been partnering with the Historic South Atlanta Neighborhood since 2001. In the last twenty years, FCS has restored over 180 homes and brought dozens of families in the neighborhood which creates a wholesome, viable, and self-sustaining mixed-income neighborhood. FCS opened several small business including Carver Neighborhood Market and Community Grounds Cafe. These small businesses provide local jobs, a safe third space for the community to gather, and stimulate the local economy. FCS believes there is a different approach in combating material poverty. By offering holistic solutions to chronic problems, FCS believes entire communities can transformed, one by one.
Louise Mulherin, 404.405.1070