LA-based organizations to share $1M in grants

Several Los Angeles-based organizations will share $1 million in grants from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, it was announced today.

The Access to Housing and Economic Assistance for Development (AHEAD) program grants -- amounting to between $20,000 and $50,000 --are handed out each year, to support economic and community development and affordable housing projects in California, Arizona and Nevada.

"Economic development is what we are all focused on right now,'' said Jim Yacenda, the bank's vice president and community investment officer.

"More than half of the projects funded in this cycle are aimed directly at jobs -- creating or preserving them, supporting the small businesses and social enterprises that generate them, or developing well-targeted job training programs.''

Homeboy Industries will receive $50,000 to help train at-risk youth and former gang members in solar panel installation from the East Los Angeles Skills Center. The grant will provide stipends for training, and pay for tool kits and support services for students.

Another local recipient of a $50,000 grant is HOME, a resale boutique that offers jobs to poor women. The Downtown Women's Center wants to train poor women to create handmade products from recycled materials and sell high-end brand merchandise. The grant will fund salary and benefits for a director who will establish, direct and oversee operations.

Other programs receiving $20,000 grants include: