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Milwaukee residents are taking action to build stronger, healthier and safer communities by raising awareness of available health resources in their community, improving housing conditions and providing youth with educational programming. Northwestern Mutual, through its Foundation, is continuing to partner with residents to enhance community-led efforts by contributing $1.9 million in grants to 33 nonprofit organizations.
Since 2013, the company has invested in these neighborhoods by working directly with residents to identify specific areas of need and partnering with organizations dedicated to fostering safe neighborhoods, healthy and thriving youth and quality education. Each of the organizations receiving funding is committed to driving sustainable change and creating long- lasting impact in Milwaukee’s Amani, Metcalfe Park and Muskego Way neighborhoods.
“Meaningful and lasting change happens when priorities and goals are shaped by the people living in those communities,” said Eric Christophersen, president, Northwestern Mutual Foundation. “Our efforts in these neighborhoods build upon the residents’ knowledge and experiences to ensure our support remains focused on residents and their vision of the future.”
Northwestern Mutual partners with designated neighborhood anchor organizations, Dominican Center, Metcalfe Park Community Bridges and Milwaukee Christian Center, to help residents as they lead revitalization efforts in Amani, Metcalfe Park and Muskego Way. Each anchor organization’s revitalization plans emphasize the neighborhoods’ priorities, goals and strategies.
Partner spotlight: Ezekiel Community Development Corporation
One of this year’s grant recipients and community partner in Northwestern Mutual’s Amani Housing Strategy is Ezekiel Community Development Corporation (CDC). Ezekiel CDC is an organization dedicated to improving housing conditions in Milwaukee’s inner city by rehabilitating homes in collaboration with local businesses and organizations. As part of the restoration process, Ezekiel CDC provides residents with on-site job training to learn transferable skills for the trade industry and helps foster homeownership in neighborhoods.
Of the 2,500 housing units in Amani, nearly two-thirds were built before 1939. Older housing can require more extensive maintenance, be more costly to heat, and are more likely to contain lead-based paint, which can cause serious health issues.
Earlier this year, Ezekiel CDC received an additional grant on behalf of Northwestern Mutual through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago’s Targeted Impact Fund program. Ezekiel CDC will use the grant funds to continue revitalizations efforts through the Amani Housing Strategy, which launched in 2019.
The community and neighborhood partners listed below are dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for residents, families and children in Milwaukee neighborhoods.
To be eligible for funding, all grant recipients are required to demonstrate measurable impact and program outcomes.
Locally, Northwestern Mutual collaborates with partners to improve education and make Milwaukee a great place to live. Nationally, the company funds research to find better treatments and cures for childhood cancer, along with supporting families currently undergoing treatment and survivors living with the lasting effects.