Last week, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and The Light House, a homeless prevention support center, broke ground on the renovation of The Light House’s former shelter. The repurposed building will serve as a 50 seat Bistro, Culinary Training Center and home to BEST Catering. Additionally, it will include four permanent supportive housing apartments. The Culinary Training Center and Bistro will provide training and employment for graduates of The Light House’s Building Employment Success Training Program (B.E.S.T.).
Graduates of The Light House Culinary Training program will receive continued instruction in food preparation, catering, nutrition education and restaurant service through transitional employment opportunities at The Light House Bistro The training center and Bistro are scheduled to open to the public in summer 2016.
The funding is part of the Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® program. David Millman, Maryland and Baltimore market president, Bank of America, presented The Light House with a check for $200,000 at the ground breaking event this morning. The nonprofit is being recognized for its work responding to the needs of those at-risk for or experiencing homelessness in Central Maryland.
“We recognize The Light House and its leaders are on the front lines in its efforts to significantly reduce the number of homeless in our community,” said Millman. “This support will help The Light House expand its efforts, reaching more families and building the essential partnerships needed to break the cycles of homelessness and hopelessness.”
The Light House works in partnership with local employers who hire their workforce development program graduates. The organization strives to be a model of caring for the homeless with transformative programs, employment training, opportunities for housing and a commitment to innovative community engagement.
“Through their visionary Neighborhood Builders program, Bank of America is helping The Light House implement innovative solutions for preventing homelessness,” said Elizabeth Kinney, executive director of The Light House. “We want to thank Bank of America for partnering with us to bring culinary social enterprise to Annapolis. This grant will take our work to the next level.”
Since 2004, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation has invested $183 million in more than 900 nonprofit organizations and provided leadership resources to nearly 2,000 nonprofit leaders through Neighborhood Builders and the Neighborhood Builders Leadership Program®. This long-term investment in nonprofit leadership development and capacity building is the largest philanthropic investment of its kind.
Neighborhood Builders is just one example of our broader corporate social responsibility efforts to build vibrant communities and economies. By advancing partnerships with nonprofits addressing needs related to community development, basic human services and workforce development and education, we are working to increase financial stability and help individuals and families find the pathways out of poverty.