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Expanding opportunity and strengthening communities in Kansas City

Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders program helps nonprofits address critical needs

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Local nonprofits are integral to the success of our communities, addressing issues to help advance economic mobility and social progress. In Kansas City, this includes Bridging The Gap and Mattie Rhodes Center, two organizations working to address basic needs and invest in workforce training for individuals and families.

For their efforts in the community, Bridging The Gap and Mattie Rhodes Center were named as 2021 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders®. As a Neighborhood Builder, each organization receives a $200,000 grant over two years, comprehensive leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader, joins a network of peer organizations across the U.S. and gets the opportunity to access capital to expand their impact.


Bridging The Gap

Bridging The Gap is the largest environmental nonprofit in the region with more than 1,700 volunteers each year working on the regional tree canopy, prairie restoration, recycling and green jobs. Currently, Bridging The Gap is working to help income-qualified households become more energy- and water-efficient by installing high efficiency devices like shower aerators in their homes, and in some cases repairing plumbing and weatherizing. In these homes, residents may have to choose between paying energy bills and other basic necessities, due not only to lower average household income, but also older and “leakier” housing.

“Bridging The Gap provides a “onestop shop” of environmental information and action for our Kansas City citizens,” said Kristin Riott, Executive Director, Bridging The Gap. “With this generous funding from Bank of America, we propose to go further in the areas of energy and equity by helping households of color become more energy and water-efficient, reducing energy bills and making homes safer and more comfortable.”


Mattie Rhodes Center

Mattie Rhodes Center is a nonprofit that’s committed to building a stronger Kansas City by working toward the vision of living in a vibrant community where all individuals and families are healthy, safe and have the resources to thrive. The center’s participants live in neighborhoods that expound social risk factors including low educational attainment, under-employment and unemployment, homelessness and co-occurring health issues. Due to this, the agency provides specialized programs that differ from other peer organizations by including services for individuals with developmental disabilities, victims of domestic violence and individuals living with addiction.

“In our work with individuals, families and communities, Mattie Rhodes Center has come to recognize individuals present complex health issues that are often amplified by various economic mobility barriers,” said John Fierro, Executive Director, Mattie Rhodes Center. “This grant and partnership with Bank of America will enable us to pilot a new job training program and provide technology upgrades for our center.”


“As communities continue to recover and navigate a changing landscape, nonprofits are still experiencing significant demands and are in need of resources to help meet critical local needs like workforce development and utility relief,” said Matt Linski, President, Bank of America Kansas City. “Bridging The Gap and Mattie Rhodes Center are helping bridge important gaps for individuals and families to help them chart a path toward economic opportunity and stability. Programs like Neighborhood Builders help these organizations grow sustainably and strategically for greater positive impact in the community.”

Working with organizations like Bridging The Gap and Mattie Rhodes Center, Bank of America is committed to advancing economic mobility here in Kansas City.


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