Wells Fargo, Mayor Goodman present $1.15 million in grants to local nonprofits

It’s well known that nonprofit organizations serving Las Vegas have seen their funding cut and their budgets drastically reduced over the past five years. Today, nonprofit budgets are smaller, but the demand remains for health care, senior care, housing assistance and food services.

A privately funded initiative issued $1.15 million in grants that will help 14 nonprofit organizations with a mission to serve residents within the city limits of Las Vegas, Wells Fargo & Co. and Las Vegas city officials announced Monday.

The grants are part of the NeighborhoodLIFT initiative to improve communities in Las Vegas through a $9 million commitment from Wells Fargo in down payment assistance and homebuyer support programs.

The program also has a five-year $1 billion mortgage purchase lending goal for Las Vegas.

“This is about building sustainable communities,” Mayor Carolyn Goodman said at a news conference at City Hall. “There are so many worthy nonprofits in our community, we couldn’t help them all. But there is always tomorrow.”

Goodman credited NeighborhoodLIFT, which began in May, with having a “huge impact on Las Vegas,” especially with people needing help with down payment assistance.

The program would provide up to $15,000 in down payment assistance grants for qualified homebuyers seeking to purchase a house within city limits.

Monday’s announcement was intended to publicize donations to nonprofits that “support the redevelopment of Las Vegas neighborhoods,” said Kirk Clausen, Nevada regional president with Wells Fargo.

Among the 14 nonprofits chosen to receive between $50,000 and $150,000 in grants were the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas and Three Square Food Bank.

Clausen presented a $75,000 check to Brian Burton, president and CEO of Three Square.

“It is rare for us to receive a gift of this magnitude,” Burton said. “This donation is almost the equivalent of a quarter-million meals.”

Burton said Three Square has identified 14 ZIP codes in Southern Nevada that “still have high food insecurity and need for assistance.”

The largest grant was $150,000 to Goodwill of Southern Nevada.

Elliot Karp, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas, accepted a $50,000 donation in the memory of Robert Stein, 81, who was killed Thursday when his wheelchair was hit by a Clark County School District bus.

Karp said the federation’s Senior Life Line had worked with Stein for several years.

“This donation will go to our Las Vegas Senior Life Line Program that assists over 500 elderly residents,” Karp said. “It’s … about repairing our world. Not just the Jewish world, but the whole world.”

Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at csieroty@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893.Follow @sierotyfeatures on Twitter.

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