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Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence

Representing the 14th District of Michigan

U.S. Rep. Lawrence Announces a Nearly $200,000 Grant Award for Lighthouse MI

February 17, 2021
Press Release

Pontiac, MI - Today, U.S. Representative Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14) announced a $187,500 NeighborWorks America grant to Lighthouse MI headquartered in Pontiac. Lighthouse MI provides direct services (food, shelter, rental/utility and other financial assistance, clothing, crisis referrals) and stability and housing programs that develop and support self-sufficiency. According to NeighborWorks America, this funding can be used for basic operations and a variety of mission-related activities driven by the priorities of the local organization and on-the-ground needs.

“Whether it’s providing housing, food, or other critical services, Lighthouse MI does incredible and life-changing work for our community,” said Congresswoman Lawrence. “This grant goes a long way in helping to advance their mission and aid the Oakland County residents and other Michiganders they serve. As Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee, I’ll continue to lend my support for these important grants and organizations, like Lighthouse and NeighborWorks America.”

"Lighthouse MI is proud to be one of nearly 250 member organizations of the NeighborWorks network, working throughout the United States to promote community revitalization, homeownership, and the production of affordable housing,” said Ryan B. Hertz, MSW, President & CEO of Lighthouse MI. “The flexible funding that NeighborWorks America provides to Lighthouse each year helps fuel our agency's mission to build equitable communities that alleviate poverty, and allows us to pursue creative solutions to the growing economic disparity in our region. Beyond funding, our partnership offers a plethora of educational and professional development opportunities to our staff, along with the helpful camaraderie of those working on similar initiatives in communities across the country. NeighborWorks America's funding and resources are a powerful investment in the resiliency of our nation's diverse communities."

Lighthouse MI was established in 2019 when Lighthouse of Oakland County and South Oakland Shelter combined forces and merged agencies. LOC was founded in 1972 and started with a group of volunteers who provided food and clothing from the back door of a local church. SOS was established in 1985 by seven religious congregations in Oakland County. The new Lighthouse will leverage the best of both agencies. With over 80 years of combined experience, Lighthouse aims to be a Beacon of Hope to their neighbors who need them the most. Families turn to them seeking support for the most basic of needs such as food or shelter. Many of these people are seeking help for the first time. Lighthouse’s vision is to solve the problems of poverty and homelessness by building affordable housing in local communities and by providing people with the resources, relationships, and skills they need to better themselves.

NeighborWorks America is a public nonprofit organization, established by Congress in 1978 as the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (Public Law 95-557). It supports and enhances a network of nearly 250 local and regional nonprofit partner NeighborWorks organizations that bring together residents, private-sector business leaders, and representatives of local government to create communities of opportunity. For over 40 years, NeighborWorks America has supported local solutions to community development and affordable housing challenges in urban, suburban and rural communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico by providing NeighborWorks organizations financial and grant support, training, technical assistance, organizational assessments, technology tools and other services.

In summary, these grants include expendable grant operating support for the NeighborWorks network. Network members use these flexible, unrestricted funds to support basic operations and a variety of mission‐related activities driven by the priorities of the local organizations and on-the-ground needs. Additionally, these Round 1 grants include capital funds provided to support investments in real estate development and lending, including: development of multi-family rental, single-family rental, for-sale housing, pre- and post-development activities, lending to support residential mortgages, down-payment assistance, and commercial small business lending.