The Genesis Fund’s technical assistance program helps create affordable housing and community facilities by sharing the professional knowledge Maine nonprofits need to develop these projects. Often, a small group sees a need in their community and wants to help but doesn’t know how to proceed and contacts Genesis Fund for help.
Genesis Fund staff provides the professional assistance needed by developing project plans, conducting feasibility studies, creating financial projections, finding additional sources of funding, grant writing and building organizational capacity. Technical assistance fills the gap these projects face and builds the capacity of the nonprofit by teaching them what they need to know to be successful. As many of these nonprofits are small and cannot afford to pay, this assistance is provided at low- or no-cost to a variety of local groups working to create affordable housing and community facilities across Maine.
Since 1995, Coastal Kids Preschool has offered mid-coast Maine children with special needs the opportunity for a vita preschool education, regardless of income. The school’s objective is to help each child reach their full potential and be prepared for a successful school experience. As the school grew it was hampered by a lack of adequate space for classrooms, library, therapy, and offices. Technical assistance and financing helped Coastal Kids plan and complete this much needed expansion.
Founded to support the youth of Lewiston-Auburn through academics, the arts and athletics and provide a safe space while building unity across lines of difference, Tree Street Youth had the perfect home in downtown Lewiston. The residential neighborhood located across from the local elementary school is home to many of the children Tree Street Youth serves. The center is a vibrant hub of daily activity for over 145 kids and is the only center in the area focused on meeting both the educational and social needs of at-risk youth. When the building went up for sale it threatened the future of this fledging program. Julia Sleeper, Executive Director turned to the Genesis Fund for help. Technical assistance from the Genesis Fund helped guide Tree Street through the successful acquisition of the building helping sustain the organization and plan for its future growth.
Tree Street Youth connected with the Genesis Fund when we were going through some tough decisions about what to do with our center’s facility as it is the home and most vital part of our programming. It had recently been put up for sale. As a Founder and Director of Tree Street my strongest skills were in working with at risk youth, and I had very little experience with commercial real estate or the many steps of planning it takes for an organization to acquire property. Technical assistance from the Genesis Fund helped me learn what was needed and coordinate tremendous community support that enables us to a permanent home for the first time ever! For a young non-profit like Tree Street the support and guidance of the Genesis Fund was vital in making this possible for not only our organization but our youth, families, and the community that we serve. Without their support we truly would not be where we are today as an organization. Their impact was truly life changing for so many and we could not be more grateful.
Julia Sleeper, Executive Director, Tree Street Youth
When Mobius, Inc. a nonprofit serving people with disabilities in Damariscotta, needed additional space to house a new program technical assistance from the Genesis Fund helped them receive a grant to buy our existing facility. Not only did this help Mobius expand, it gave the Genesis Fund the opportunity to acquire our new office in Brunswick and to better serve our statewide partners. It’s the type of innovative and collaborative solution the Genesis Fund is known for.
Founded in 1990, Habitat for Humanity 7 Rivers Maine creates homeownership opportunities for families with limited incomes by building sustainable housing and repairing and weatherizing existing homes. Serving 31 communities in Mid Coast Maine, Habitat for Humanity 7 Rivers Maine has built 36 Energy Star Certified homes, helping families achieve the dream of home ownership. Additionally, Habitat for Humanity 7 Rivers has weatherized close to 400 homes for low income families in the communities they serve.
With over 41,000 households in their service area, Habitat for Humanity 7 Rivers Maine wanted to help even more families in Mid Coast Maine achieve home ownership by building more affordable homes. Unfortunately, capital constraints limited them to building only one or two homes a year. Habitat for Humanity 7 Rivers turned to the Genesis Fund for help and a creative solution was found. The Genesis Fund purchased Habitat’s loan portfolio, which gave them the working capital needed to build more houses annually. Now, Habitat for Humanity 7 Rivers Maine is building several new affordable houses for Mid Coast Maine families.
At Habitat for Humanity/ 7 Rivers Maine, we feel very fortunate to have a partner like the Genesis Community Loan Fund. As a small non-profit, our biggest obstacle to meeting our mission is funding and long term sustainability. Working with Genesis to create a long term sustainability strategy by accessing our mortgage portfolio for leveraging funds from Genesis was a great experience. This cash infusion helped us create our "Project Development Fund" which we invested to provide long term project and program sustainability. Genesis being willing to think outside of the box has had a major positive impact on our organization.
Dave Perron, HFH 7 Rivers Maine