Wells Fargo joined Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin on Monday to present $350,000 in grants to three nonprofits to help revitalize area neighborhoods through the company’s NeighborhoodLIFT program.
Wells Fargo Foundation grants were awarded to:
Columbia Urban League – $100,000 to support the Summer Work Experience Leadership Program (SWELP), for youths 14 to 19 years old. SWELP helps teens develop critical thinking techniques, teaches a sense of responsibility, and encourages effective, appropriate communication, according to a press release. About 400 participants will work 20 hours per week during the program.
HomeWorks of America – $100,000 grant to serve low- and moderate-income homeowners with home repairs. HomeWorks will rebuild at least six homes damaged in the October 2015 flood, provide safety and sanitation repairs to nearly 100 homes across the state, and provide case management to homeowners in need of meals, transportation and more.
Parks and Recreation Foundation – $150,000 grant to be used for two projects:
- An educational initiative to provide people in communities with high unemployment, resources and tools for dietary and lifestyle changes, as well as job skills to help participants entering the culinary field. The program will also serve as an incubator for entrepreneurs and for firms requiring a commercial kitchen. Services will benefit approximately 688 families, including adults, senior citizens and children.
- A neighborhood beautification project that includes construction of a new playground in the Fairwold Acres/Harlem Heights neighborhood.
Wells Fargo launched the NeighborhoodLIFT program in July 2016 with a $4.1 million commitment to boost local homeownership and revitalize neighborhoods. The program has created more than 100 homeowners in Richland and Lexington counties by offering homebuyer education plus matching down payment assistance grants up to $7,500.