Future Smiles and Neighborhood Housing Services of Southern Nevada (NHSSN) have been named as the 2022 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® awardees for their work in the Las Vegas community removing economic barriers and advancing economic opportunity.
Each organization receives a $200,000 grant over two years, comprehensive leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader on topics ranging from increasing financial sustainability, human capital management and strategic storytelling, joins a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and gets the opportunity to access capital to expand their impact. The program continues to be the nation’s largest investment into nonprofit leadership development.
“Nonprofits are the backbone to our local community as they are on the ground working closely with individuals, families and community members to understand the obstacles many are experiencing and developing programs and services that will help alleviate or eliminate these barriers, helping them chart a path toward economic opportunity,” said Al Welch, president, Bank of America Las Vegas. “It’s important that we direct not only capital, but the necessary resources and training to help position these nonprofits and their leadership team for long-term success as they grow strategically and make a positive impact.”
Future Smiles is committed to increasing access to oral health care for all underserved populations by addressing significant barriers to dental treatment, including high cost, lack of accessible dental services in the community, geographic isolation and more. They will use their grant funding to hire a Community Services Specialist (CSS), who will be responsible for connecting children and families to community services, including identifying, organizing and executing Medicaid enrollment as well as tracking and reporting outcomes. The funding will also support existing clinicians and staff, the purchase of dental supplies and professional development.
“There’s more than just a smile at stake when a child lacks access to dental care,” said Terri Chandler, RDH, Future Smiles Founder and Executive Director. “Dental issues affect the whole child and can directly impact their ability to learn, affect their risk for other systemic health issues, and keep them from developing strong self-esteem and confidence. Bank of America’s investment in Future Smiles will help create health equity for all children in southern Nevada—one smile and one heart at a time.”
Neighborhood Housing Services of Southern Nevada
NHSSN provides affordable housing, homeownership and education to low-to moderate-income (LMI) individuals and families in Southern Nevada. They provide pre-and post-purchase housing counseling and education, down payment assistance, reverse mortgage and foreclosure prevention counseling, and nearly 160 units of scattered-site affordable rental housing. In addition, NHSSN acquires, rehabilitates, and sells properties to LMI owner-occupants to create affordable housing through its “Blight to Bright” program. NHSSN created a revolving fund to accomplish this. After a home is sold, proceeds are returned to the fund for the next project. They will use their grant funding for the Blight to Bright program as well as the revolving fund developed to support it.
“In Clark County, for every 100 low-income working individuals or families, there are 20 affordable and available housing units,” said NHSSN President and CEO Michelle Merced. “Neighborhood Housing Services of Southern Nevada is working with local financial services, nonprofits, and government agencies to increase the number of affordable housing units for low- to moderate-income renters and homebuyers. NHSSN is grateful to Bank of America for receiving the 2022 Neighborhood Builders award. These grant funds will be added to our Revolving Fund to develop housing for low-income working families. Once the house is built and sold, the money from the sale will be returned to the Revolving Fund to help build better neighborhoods Block by Block.”
In Las Vegas, 31 nonprofits have been selected as Neighborhood Builders since 2004, with the bank investing $6,200,000 into these local organizations.
The invitation-only program is highly competitive, and organizations are selected by a committee comprised of community leaders and past Neighborhood Builders honorees.
Through 2021, Bank of America has invested over $280 million in 50 communities through Neighborhood Builders, partnering with more than 1,400 nonprofits and helping more than 2,800 nonprofit leaders strengthen their leadership skills. Neighborhood Builders is just one example of how Bank of America deploys capital in communities, builds cross-sector partnerships, and promotes socioeconomic progress as part of its approach to responsible growth.