SAN FRANCISCO (9/6/12)--An initiative by a San Diego, Calif.-based credit union is among 30 projects to receive an aggregate $1 million in grants through an Access to Housing and Economic Assistance for Development (AHEAD) program from the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of San Francisco.
University & State Employees (USE) CU was granted $40,000 for its Planting Justice: Re-entry Green Jobs Program in Oakland, Calif. The economic development program will train and employ men who were formerly incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison to build and maintain sustainable edible gardens. The program expects to create 50 edible community gardens at the homes of both full-paying clients and subsidized low-income households throughout the San Francisco Bay area.
The grant will subsidize wages for program participants and help pay costs for developing a training curriculum, purchasing tools and a truck, and advertising and outreach. Integrating a living-wage re-entry green jobs program with in-prison rehabilitation is expected to reduce recidivism, promote human rights and create healthier communities, said the FHLB.
The grants, which are made through the bank's member financial institutions, will be used by nonprofit organizations in Arizona, California and Nevada for projects and programs fostering economic development and promoting community stability and self-sufficiency.
This year, more than 184 projects applied for more than $8 million in AHEAD funding.