Citizen's Bank Foundation announces $75,000 in donations to HAPHousing

Date: 5/1/2013

BOSTON – Citizens Bank and Citizens Bank Foundation recently announced it has provided $75,000 in support to HAPHousing as part of the bank's Citizens Helping Citizens Teach Money Management program in honor of National Financial Literacy Month.

The Citizens Bank Foundation donated $50,000 to the organization's Family Self-Sufficiency program (FSS) that provides low-income families with enhanced job readiness, financial education, and other related supportive services that help them achieve economic security. In addition, Citizens Bank donated $25,000 to serve as the leading sponsor of HAPHousing's 40th anniversary celebration.

"Through our Citizens Helping Citizens Teach Money Management program, we are committed to supporting organizations like HAPHousing that educate individuals and families on how to budget and save so they can become fiscally healthy," Jerry Sargent, president of Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, Massachusetts, said. "By teaching basic money management skills and providing workforce development, HAPHousing is strengthening the residents and communities in Western Massachusetts."

Serving families throughout Hampden and Hampshire counties, FSS provides management services that assist participants to set and achieve goals which build their self-confidence, job readiness and skills, as well as their ability to manage money and support their families. FSS is a voluntary program with a strong financial incentive: when an FSS participant's earned income increases an escrow account is established based on the amount of the increase. The participant receives the escrowed amount, plus interest, upon FSS graduation.

"Citizens Bank and the Citizens Bank Foundation are helping to sustain and improve communities in Hampden and Hampshire counties by enabling residents to achieve a better future through their support of our organization," Peter Gagliardi, executive director, HAPHousing, said. "With the generous support from Citizens, we will celebrate 40 years of working toward our mission of providing affordable housing opportunities, education and support by way of programs like Family Self-Sufficiency."

Since 1973, HAPHousing has been providing housing assistance to the people of Hampden and Hampshire Counties. Now, HAPHousing is the largest nonprofit developer of affordable housing in Western Massachusetts, and a collaborative partner in urban neighborhood revitalization. Serving more than 20,000 people annually, HAPHousing provides affordable housing opportunities, education and support services that promote financial self-reliance and vibrant, diverse communities.

This grant is the latest collaboration between HAPHousing and the Citizens Bank Foundation. In 2012, Citizens Bank Foundation supported revitalization efforts in the Old Hill neighborhood of Springfield and supported tornado recovery efforts. Nine houses were developed in the neighborhood and improvement plans for adjacent buildings continue. Following the 2011 tornado, the Citizens Bank Foundation was among the first corporations to respond to community needs in the aftermath of the natural disaster.