Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., through its foundation, is contributing $1.9 million in grants to 33 nonprofit organizations to enhance community-led efforts aimed at building stronger, healthier and safer communities.
Grant funds will be used to raise awareness of available health resources in the community, improve housing conditions and provide youth with educational programming.
Since 2013, Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual has invested in Milwaukee neighborhoods by working directly with residents to identify specific areas of need and partnering with organizations dedicated to fostering safe neighborhoods, healthy and thriving youth and quality education.
Each of the organizations receiving funding is committed to driving sustainable change and creating long-lasting impact in Milwaukee’s Amani, Metcalfe Park and Muskego Way neighborhoods.
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“Meaningful and lasting change happens when priorities and goals are shaped by the people living in those communities,” Northwestern Mutual Foundation President Eric Christophersen said. “Our efforts in these neighborhoods build upon the residents’ knowledge and experiences to ensure our support remains focused on residents and their vision of the future.”
Northwestern Mutual partners with designated neighborhood anchor organizations, Dominican Center, Metcalfe Park Community Bridges and Milwaukee Christian Center, to help residents as they lead revitalization efforts in Amani, Metcalfe Park and Muskego Way. Each anchor organization’s revitalization plans emphasize the neighborhoods’ priorities, goals and strategies.
One of this year’s grant recipients and community partner in Northwestern Mutual’s Amani Housing Strategy is Ezekiel Community Development Corp., an organization dedicated to improving housing conditions in Milwaukee’s inner city by rehabilitating homes in collaboration with local businesses and organizations.
As part of the restoration process, Ezekiel CDC provides residents with on-site job training to learn transferable skills for the trade industry and helps foster homeownership in neighborhoods. Of the 2,500 housing units in Amani, nearly two-thirds were built before 1939. Older housing can require more extensive maintenance, be more costly to heat, and is more likely to contain lead-based paint, which can cause serious health issues.
Earlier this year, Ezekiel CDC received an additional grant on behalf of Northwestern Mutual through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago’s Targeted Impact Fund program. Ezekiel CDC will use the grant funds to continue revitalizations efforts through the Amani Housing Strategy, which launched in 2019.
To be eligible for funding, all grant recipients are required to demonstrate measurable impact and program outcomes.