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Elevating Our Communities Takes a Commitment to Basic Needs and Workforce Development

June 16, 2017
A letter from one of our funders, Gene Shaefer, Miami market president of Bank of America

Some South Florida communities continue to falter when it comes to financial growth and economic mobility, despite the overall recovery of the U.S. economy. And the situation may be getting worse. Barriers to economic success are growing in South Florida with all wage earners seeing an income decline, except for the top 5 percent, a report from the FIU Metropolitan Center reveals.

Furthermore, United Way of Florida’s latest ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) report reveals that 21% of households in Miami Dade live in poverty and an additional 27% are one emergency away from financial instability, meaning more than half of all households in our community struggle to make ends meet.

It’s clear that effective solutions are needed to close this growing economic disparity in South Florida, now one of the largest such gaps in the United States.


Supporting Basic Needs

Meeting the basic needs of all members of our community is an ideal place to start. Without making essentials like food and housing readily available, many residents are forced to focus on day-to-day survival rather than economic mobility.

Without these basics, people also lack the stability necessary to enter the workforce and improve their current and long-term financial standing.


Working Their Way Up

Specific to employment, all members of our community need an effective path into the workforce. This will not only improve individual lives, but also help elevate the entire South Florida community and make a marked impact on our economy.

Unfortunately, many of these struggling communities do not have the resources to succeed on their own. This is one reason why Bank of America is proud to partner with non-profit organizations that address the economic mobility of individuals, families and entire neighborhoods. Truly empowering people means all have access to basic needs, real workforce options, and the knowledge and ability to provide for themselves and their families.


Driving Change Through Essential Partnerships

The invaluable nonprofit organizations that provide a safety net for individuals and families are central to the success of these efforts. To this end, we’re proud to announce the Bank of America Charitable Foundation has named Catalyst Miami a recipient of its 2017 Workforce Development and Basic Needs grant. Catalyst Miami will use the funds to sustain and grow their prosperity work to help low and middle income Miami residents lead healthy and financially stable lives by providing access to healthcare and benefits as well as financial/credit coaching and career/resume assistance.


We’re grateful for this partnership, because it means helping more of our neighbors get back on their feet more quickly.

We’re also indebted to all of the volunteers, including Bank of America employees, who continue to demonstrate how incredibly invested they are in our community. They generously share their time, passion and expertise to improve the quality of life of their neighbors and people they’ve never met in many ways every day.

Gene Schaefer, Miami market president
Bank of America


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