“Helping people is at the heart of all we do,” said Deb Long, Director of Community Health for Bon Secours St. Francis. “We know that serving our community doesn’t just stop at providing quality health care in our facilities. We must also do our part to help address other issues influencing the region such as affordable housing, education and employment. That’s why this loan is really an investment in our community.”
Bon Secours often develops long-term, collaborative relationships with local organizations like CommunityWorks to help identify and address priorities that will help improve the quality of life and health in local communities. While the Greenville-based organization opened its doors in 2008 as a local housing trust fund, it has since grown into a diverse Community Development Financial Institution that provides financial education and training as well as access to low cost loans for affordable housing, community facilities and commercial revitalization among other things.
“CommunityWorks is excited to expand our partnership with Bon Secours to support economic opportunities for underserved populations in core redeveloping areas,” stated Tammie Hoy Hawkins, CEO at CommunityWoks. “Bon Secours has been a partner of ours since 2015. The increased investment will enable CW to expand partnerships and develop innovative financing that supports neighborhood based small businesses and affordable housing opportunities in rapidly gentrified neighborhoods throughout Greenville.”
The $750,000 loan is part of Bon Secours’ Community Investment Program, where a portion of investment funds are given out as loans to community projects. These funds are made available to borrowers at low, or below market, rates to foster improvements in the overall health of communities. While the financial returns to Bon Secours Mercy Health are modest, the social impact and community returns are often significant.