At a special breakfast presentation Nov. 15, Bank of America (BofA) recognized two Phoenix nonprofits for their efforts to remove economic barriers and advance economic opportunity.

Arouet Foundation and Homeless Youth Connection have been named as the 2022 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® awardees for their work in the Phoenix community to support formerly incarcerated women through second chance employment programs and to address youth homelessness in Phoenix, respectively.

Each organization will receive 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 in nonprofit leadership development.

Arouet provides education assistance, workforce development and job opportunities to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women who are working hard to change their livelihood. With over 400 pre- and post-release program participants, less than 10 percent experience recidivism, while 86 percent of participants secure employment that brings in new income to build better futures. Currently, Arouet is developing a one-of-a-kind employer handbook to be released in 2023, which will provide guidance to its employer partners that work with formerly incarcerated women.

Homeless Youth Connection (HYC) is a local nonprofit working to eliminate barriers that prevent youth (ages 13-21) experiencing homelessness from graduating in Maricopa County and Flagstaff. HYC provides its students with youth coaches who help them identify their needs and develop a strategic plan to achieve their goals in addition to connecting them with housing through their Host Family Program. HYC partners with more than 130 high schools and 80 percent of its graduates go on to enroll in college, enter the military or join the workforce. With help from the Bank of America grant HYC will expand their offices and increase staffing at its new facility in Central Phoenix, which will feature 10 residential units for up to 20 youth.

In Phoenix, 36 nonprofits have been selected as Neighborhood Builders since 2004, with the bank investing $7.2 Million 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.


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