U.S. Conference of Mayors, Wells Fargo Announce 2017 CommunityWINS Grants

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – June 26, 2017 – The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and Wells Fargo today announced Mayors Edwin Lee of San Francisco; Jorge O. Elorza of Providence, R.I.; and J. Richard Gray of Lancaster, Penn. are recognized with top honors on behalf of nonprofits in their cities with the 2017 CommunityWINS® Grant Program funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation.

Presented at the Conference’s 85th annual meeting in Miami Beach, Fla., the awards recognize nonprofits and cities for leadership in driving neighborhood stabilization, economic development and job creation efforts. An independent panel of judges selected recipients of the Wells Fargo-funded grants from 245 applicants representing small, medium and large cities.

“Our 2017 CommunityWINS Grant Program gives the Conference an opportunity to recognize positive neighborhood revitalization efforts in our cities that are making a difference in the lives of residents,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.   “We are grateful to Wells Fargo and the Wells Fargo Foundation for their support of the CommunityWINS Program, which also highlights the talent and commitment of mayors and city governments.”

  • San Francisco Mayor Lee was recognized and a $300,000 grant was awarded to nonprofit Main Street Launch for its Chinatown Initiative for Entrepreneurial Spirit and Innovation project. The effort will provide tailored technical assistance for Chinatown-based small businesses, create an online business directory, and complete a detailed analysis for 200 local businesses including listing them in ArcGIS mapping technologies and with public databases.
  • Providence, R.I. Mayor Elorza was recognized and a $150,000 grant was awarded for the creation of Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s new state-of-the-art Harvest Kitchen that will be located in the heart of the neighborhood that was formerly a center of manufacturing and industry.
  • Lancaster, Penn. Mayor Gray was recognized and a $150,000 grant was awarded to the Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County to alleviate lead paint hazards for 10 or more home-based daycare providers in Lancaster City, where the majority of housing was built prior to 1960s when lead paint was commonly used.

Additional 2017 CommunityWINS Grant Program Outstanding Achievement awards were also presented to:

  • Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on behalf of 3Star Community Corporation ($75,000);
  • Santa Fe, N.M. Mayor Javier Gonzales on behalf of MAKE Santa Fe ($50,000); and
  • Ithaca, N.Y. Mayor Svante Myrick on behalf of the Ithaca Downtown Business Improvement District ($50,000).

The grants were presented by Wells Fargo during USCM’s 85th annual meeting. Wells Fargo’s support makes the CommunityWINS Grant Program possible.

“Wells Fargo is delighted to collaborate with the US Conference of Mayors to make these grants available for nonprofits and enable them to make vital neighborhood revitalization improvements in their cities,” said Martin Sundquist, executive director of the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation.  “Wells Fargo cares about the communities we serve and the 2017 CommunityWINS grant program is among several economic empowerment efforts we support that are focused on building better communities.”

Following are brief descriptions of the winning programs and grant amounts for each:


San Francisco – $300,000 to Main Street Launch

One challenge San Francisco’s Chinatown faces as the oldest Chinatown in the country is the steady phase-out of small businesses that have been institutions in the community for 20 or more years.  These legacy small business owners are finding that their children do not wish to take over the family business or do not have the adequate business acumen to run the business. Many owners end up closing their businesses, leaving vacancies across the neighborhood, which results in lost revenue for the city, decreased earning potential for residents and the loss of a community landmark and asset. The Chinatown Initiative for Entrepreneurial Spirit and Innovation will employ three strategies to support neighborhood stabilization, economic development and job creation in San Francisco. Chinatown’s emerging and legacy business owners will be strategically engaged in Technical assistance, marketing will also be included in a business directory. The businesses will also have access to data collection and analysis.  (250,000+ population)

Providence, RI – $150,000 to Farm Fresh Rhode Island

Farm Fresh Rhode Island, is in the midst of developing the Rhode Island Food Hub, a 3.2 acre site located in the midst of a neighborhood that was once the heart of Rhode Island manufacturing and industry. CommunityWINS grant funds will be used to plan, construct and fit out a new state-of-the-art Harvest Kitchen to be located at the Hub. Over the last 50 years, however, the area has suffered from considerable disinvestment and vacancy. The Hub will serve as a Food and Agriculture Center where all of Farm Fresh’s programs can be situated, and the location will connect farmers, eaters and attract other food and agriculture related businesses to co-locate on the same site. Harvest Kitchen provides food industry job training and employment for young people aged 16-20 who are recruited in partnership with the Office of Juvenile Probation at the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families. In 2016, the Kitchen turned out 26 different product lines totaling more than 1,000 cases of product. (75,000-250,000 population)

Lancaster, PA – $150,000 to Community Action Partnership (CAP) of Lancaster County

CAPital Workforce is a construction training initiative focused on renovating distressed homes in primarily high-poverty neighborhoods in Lancaster City. CAP hires workers that have barriers to employment, such as a criminal background, and provides them with on-the-job training. Grant funding through CommunityWINS will be used to alleviate lead paint hazards in home-based daycares in Lancaster City. It is anticipated that over the course of the year-long grant round, Capital Workforce will make ten to twelve daycares lead safe; and, in the process, crew members will become skilled in building trades and will be qualified to secure living wage employment. There are now over 130 home-based daycares in the city. The primary source of lead in Lancaster is lead paint and lead contaminated dust that is found in buildings constructed prior to 1978. The vast majority, 82 percent, of the housing units in the city were built prior to 1960. (75,000 population)


Atlanta – $75,000 to 3Star Community Corporation

The Affordable Housing and Healthy Communities Project is a collaborative effort with the City of Atlanta the 3Star Community Corporation, which includes Atlanta Public schools, Morehouse College of Medicine, Emory School of Public Health, The Westside Future Fund and many non-profits to stabilize a two-square mile neighborhood west of downtown Atlanta known as Historic West Atlanta. 3Star purchases and renovates historic small abandoned/blighted 4-16 unit apartment communities built between 1956 and 1965 in the West Atlanta area. The local elementary school that serves the West Atlanta families is Bethune Elementary and it is one of the worst performing schools in Georgia (ranked 1224/1233 of Georgia Elementary Schools). The Star-C service model of community stabilization through interconnecting affordable housing preservation, public health and education includes: free after-school and summer camps, affordable dental/primary physician care, and gardening plots for the resident families. CommunityWINS funding will help purchase vacant and abandoned apartment communities and renovate them into safe and decent affordable housing for the working families in the neighborhood. The initiative will include renovation components including code compliance and energy efficiency for 100 units. (250,000+ population)

Santa Fe/MAKE Santa Fe ($50,000)

The DigiFab Youth Lab provides training in advanced manufacturing and digital fabrication techniques for underserved youth. This program empowers them to be smart, skilled workers for the next phase of American manufacturing and entrepreneurship. Funds will be used to extend the pilot curriculum in the local makerspace into a program that is capable of serving multiple cohorts simultaneously and can be replicated and adapted to other communities. Participants who complete the 12-week course of nearly 200 hours of training are ready for employment with businesses that use additive, extractive and CNC based equipment or related software and processes. Such employers range from small, bespoke manufacturers and artisans to large, established factories. Graduates of the program also learn design thinking, teamwork, emotional intelligence and other key soft skills that allow them to excel in the workplace, as well as in the larger community. (75,000-250,000 population)

Ithaca/Ithaca Downtown Business Improvement District ($50,000)

“Pay It Forward Ithaca” is a community partnership program that enables persons in need to easily access food, toiletries, and personal supplies on the street. A person in need simply goes to one of eight (8) participating Downtown businesses and can each day pull from a bulletin board a note tag that is redeemable for food, batteries and other supplies, or toiletry items. “Pay It Forward” brings together interested merchants, the donating public, nonprofit providers, and the local Community Outreach Worker program. There is no red tape and no means testing- the sole criteria is individual need. CommunityWINS will help provide funds for replenishing bulletin boards at the participating businesses and marketing materials aimed at downtown workers and visitors. The Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA) has purchased three money collection kiosks, where the public can make personal donations with all proceeds also going toward providing items on the business bulletin boards. (75,000 population)


About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $2.0 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,500 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 273,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2017 rankings of America’s largest corporations. The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked Wells Fargo No. 3 on its most recent list of the top corporate cash philanthropists. In 2016, Wells Fargo donated $281.3 million to 14,900 nonprofits and Wells Fargo team members volunteered 1.73 million hours with 50,000 nonprofits. Wells Fargo’s corporate social responsibility efforts are focused on economic empowerment in underserved communities, environmental sustainability, and advancing diversity and social inclusion. News, insights, and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.