The JP Morgan Chase Foundation has thrown its support behind a wide range of issues, most notably workforce development, but also veterans and college readiness.
- JP Morgan Chase’s $250 Million Jobs Program
- JP Morgan Chase Foundation Helps South Bronx Kids Get to College
- JPMorgan Chase Is Getting More Serious About Veterans
But it’s also part of a growing trend among corporate donors: affordable housing grantmaking. JP Morgan Chase recently made a $600,000 commitment to Ability Housing, which addresses the issue in a particularly problematic part of the country—Florida.
Florida now ranks third in the nation for homelessness, and those numbers are on the rise. Ability Housing is a nonprofit that serves Northeast and Central Florida with supportive affordable housing and individualized support services. Its target demographics are veterans and adults with disabilities.
Although the housing crisis in Florida has only started to emerge as a top issue for funders, JP Morgan Chase has been involved for quite a while now. The bank foundation has supported Ability Housing since 2002, and even helped the organization expand to Central Florida last year with an $80,000 grant. From this recent commitment, $500,000 will go toward the nonprofit’s work in Orlando and $100,000 to work in Jacksonville.
Housing and homelessness issues have been consistently important to JP Morgan Chase Southeast Chairman Mel Martinez, who’s a former board member of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness.
“Florida means opportunity for so many, and when we have families and individuals facing homelessness, we are falling short on that promise, and impeding prosperity and growth,” Martinez told Metro Jacksonville. “To end homelessness in our state, we need the collective work and support from businesses, philanthropy and government to help more people in our state never have to worry about having a roof over their head.”
However, JP Morgan’s affordable housing/community development grantmaking program extends far beyond the state of Florida, as the foundation has invested at least $33 million in seven different collaboratives to reduce housing costs, prepare families for these responsibilities, and help communities thrive. Grants for CDFI Collaboratives tend to be big – between $2 million and $7 million each, and the focus has been on these geographic locations lately:
- Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Dayton, Ohio
- Latino communities in the Southwest (Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico)
- New York
- New Jersey
Keep in mind that affordable housing funding at Chase is often closely tied to job creation, healthy food networks, and boosting businesses to stimulate the economy. This past summer, Forbes published an article about the foundation's role in rebuilding New Orleans neighborhoods after Hurricane Katrina.
A full list of communities that the JP Morgan Chase Foundation supports for affordable housing and other issues, and the appropriate contact information, can be found on the funder’s website.