May 2001

Direct Community Investment Program Helps Build Healthy Communities


Part of Catholic Health Initiatives’ approach to social responsibility is its commitment to channeling financial resources to the promotion of healthy communities. The Direct Community Investment Program is one way the organization supports groups and projects that make jobs, housing, education and health care more accessible to low-income and minority populations, which, in turn, promotes social justice and stronger communities. Loans available to community-based organizations The program differs from Catholic Health Initiatives’ Mission and Ministry Fund in that it provides no- or low-interest loans and not grants, which do not have to be paid back. The goal of the program is to lend about $38 million, or two percent of Catholic Health Initiatives’ total operating program assets. To date, the program has loaned about $15 million to a varietyof organizations and new applicants are encouraged to seek loans. Who should apply Community-based organizations that promote access to jobs, housing, education, health care and other essential services for low-income or minority populations are encouraged to apply for direct community investments. While applicants that serve communities in which market-based organizations or related organizations are located are given priority consideration, direct community investments are available to international as well as domestic organizations. Applicants should be non-profit and focus primarily on community development programs. Market-based organizations cannot apply for direct community investments, but community projects and organizations in which they are involved may qualify. Market-based organization leaders are encouraged to share information on the program within their communities and to invite applications. The Social Responsibility Investment Staff Committee of Catholic Health Initiatives reviews applications on a quarterly basis. How to request an application For more information about the types of loans available through the Direct Community Investment Program or to request an application, contact Jennifer Neppel, director of cash and investments for Catholic Health Initiatives, at 303/383-2670 or jenniferneppel@chi-national.org. Investments cover a range of organizations The Catholic Health Initiatives Direct Community Investment Program is helping 24 organizations serve disadvantaged populations in the United States and other countries.