Norwescap Awarded $200,000 Neighborhood Builders Grant

Norwescap Helps Over 30,000 Individuals and Families Annually on Their Road to Resiliency

PHILLIPSBURG, NJ   December 3, 2020– Norwescap, a non-profit organization serving low-income individuals and families in Northwest New Jersey, has been awarded a $200,000 grant from Bank of America through its Neighborhood Builders program. Each year, Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders program deploys capital to advance nonprofit leaders addressing economic mobility and social progress in communities to ensure long term sustainability. 

Founded in 1965 as an organization to fight poverty, Norwescap has evolved to grow beyond safety net programs and has expanded operations to include “upstream” strategies to prevent people throughout northwest New Jersey from falling into poverty. Norwescap invests in individuals, families, and communities through six key domains: education, employment, financial empowerment, health, housing and community development, and volunteerism and civic engagement. As a Neighborhood Builders recipient, Norwescap will grow its community development efforts by launching a new evidence-based ‘financial opportunity center’ model, which combines case management, financial literacy, and job training all in one location.

 “We are incredibly grateful to Bank of America for supporting Norwescap’s community development efforts.  Building resiliency through our community development work is a collaborative effort, especially as we are all still struggling through the pandemic,” said Mark Valli, CEO of Norwescap. “While our teams have been directly addressing the immediate needs of individuals and families in order to help them through this ongoing crisis, Bank of America has recognized that we also need to continue our long-term work of strengthening communities.”

For more than twenty years, Norwescap has operated a series of high-impact financial empowerment programs, helping thousands of individuals who were financially underserved build millions of dollars in assets, improve their credit scores, and become bankable consumers. “One of the ongoing critical needs we have identified among our program participants is financial capacity,” Valli said. “The Neighborhood Builders grant will allow us to build upon our financial empowerment efforts to ensure long term resiliency in our communities.”

Single mother, Nicole B. of Warren County worked multiple jobs and rented an apartment when she decided to change her life for the better.  Nicole enrolled in Norwescap’s Financial Empowerment Program where she gained access to resources and learned the financial management skills to save money and achieve her goals. Today, Nicole owns her own home, has a career and spends her extra time with her children and family.

Since 2009, Norwescap has led community development activities in the Town of Phillipsburg. These have included investments via the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program, a partnership with the local police department on the Community-Based Crime Reduction Initiative, and now the administration of the Neighborhood Preservation Program. Together, these efforts have leveraged more than $1,000,000 in investment to the South Main Street Neighborhood.

Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders award builds upon this successful foundation by supporting the establishment of Norwescap’s “South Main Street Financial Empowerment Center” in the heart of the neighborhood. This new location will be a hub of economic opportunity, leveraging Norwescap’s experience to strengthen the Phillipsburg community in sustainable ways, through financial empowerment, small business support, and community economic development for those who live and work in the district. Phillipsburg residents will also be able to access financial counseling and support within walking distance, and through strategic partnerships, become bankable customers with increased assets and improved credit on their way to becoming financially self-sufficient.

“At Bank of America, we know that investing in financial literacy and education is a direct investment in our community, especially vulnerable populations who may not have access to the tools needed to advance,” said Alberto Garofalo, New Jersey market president for Bank of America. “Norwescap has served as an essential resource to our neighbors in Northwest New Jersey for years, and we look forward to working with them on a new financial empowerment center that will create economic opportunity for more members of our community.”