Native Americans living in the Phoenix metropolitan area historically were served by separate independent nonprofits; little progress was being made in addressing critical health and social issues facing that population. A group of five agencies serving off-reservation Native Americans in the metropolitan Phoenix area, led by Native American Connections, formed a new nonprofit corporation, United Native Development Corporation (UNDC), to focus on three specific issue areas: senior housing, student housing, and workforce development. Lodestar’s capacity building grant of $100,000, which provided seed money for the project, led to the receipt of additional operating funds for UNDC which, in turn, enabled UNDC to plan a senior housing project that received $4.4 million for development. More importantly, the original collaboration served as a catalyst for ongoing collaboration among the agencies on a variety of issues of mutual importance. Three of the agencies later formed a limited liability company to jointly purchase an 85,000 square foot office building for more than $7 million (totally financed by no-interest loans and grants). The facility, now run by Native American Connections, is considered the geographic center for the area’s Native Americans, operating as a business, cultural and service center for that population. Not only are a variety of Native American businesses and nonprofits co-locating in the building, several of the nonprofits have formed a management services organization to combine administrative functions, creating yet another level of collaboration. In 2006, the project received a Community Revitalization Award, sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.
Grant Amount: $100,000
Year Granted: 2003
Grantee: Native American Connections, Inc.
Location: AZ - Arizona
Grantee Website: Native American Connections, Inc.