CCHD grants support climate change response, Native American credit access

Friday, Jul. 31, 2020

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A pair of grants totaling $800,000 from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development will boost Native American access to credit and empower low-income people in the southeastern U.S. to respond to the impact of climate change.
CCHD is the U.S. bishops’ domestic anti-poverty program. The grants were announced July 22.
The Native Community Development Financial Institutions Network, or NCN, received $300,000 under CCHD’s Strategic National Grant program while the Direct Action and Research Training Center in Miami Shores, Fla., was awarded $500,000.
The grant to NCN will allow the network to help low-income Native American households nationwide maintain access to credit. Network members total more than 60 Native Community Development Financial Institutions, called CDFIs, in 27 states. These institutions serve communities without full access to banking services.
Ralph McCloud, CCHD executive director, said the funds will help bolster Native American-owned businesses, which have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The grant to the Direct Action and Research Training Center, or DART, will allow the organization to work with low-income people to overcome the impact and address the root causes of climate change for five years, McCloud said.
Called “Caring for Creation, Caring for Community,” the project will help DART staff members throughout the southeastern U.S. work with local groups to identify the effects of a changing environment, empower low-income and minority residents to address those effects, and raise public awareness of how poor and marginalized communities are the most affected by climate change.

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