BEDFORD-STUYVESANT RESTORATION CORPORATION LAUNCHES EMERGENCY COVID-19 RELIEF FUND.
MONEY WILL BE DISTRIBUTED THROUGH NEW ONLINE, AFRICAN-AMERICAN OWNED PLATFORM MOCAFI, THAT PROVIDES LOW-COST BANKING OPTION TO VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES.
NEW YORK, July 29, 2020 – The nation’s first community development corporation Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation announced its COVID-Relief fund to support Brooklynites who have been hit hard by the loss of life and lost income due to the pandemic. At least 500 people are expected to receive either a cash grant of up to $400 or gift cards for a local supermarket for food and other supplies.
Restoration has teamed up with African American-owned fintech MoCaFi [Mobility Capital Finance, Inc.] to distribute the funds through their new FDIC-insured bank accounts established on the MoCaFi mobile platform. The mobile platform is available through the Google Play and Apple App stores.
“This project aims to support both emergency needs and financial capacity building. We can appreciate that digital banking is the future because we witnessed how the federal government streamlined the distribution of economic stimulus payments by utilizing these vehicles,” BSRC President and CEO Colvn W. Grannum said. “We aligned with MoCaFi because we needed to collaborate with a Black-owned institution whose low-cost services target financially vulnerable communities. Many of our clients are facing unemployment, an inability to receive benefits, loss of health insurance, and any emergency savings.”
“In 2019, the Federal Reserve released a report stating that 40% of all Americans would be unable to cover a $400 emergency expense,” added Wole Coaxum, Founder, and CEO of MoCaFi. “The impact of COVID-19 on our communities has brought this academic assessment into sharp relief as millions of families are struggling to survive. Our collaboration advances the missions of both MoCaFi and Restoration as we seek to ensure that everyone can access affordable, quality banking products – a critical, foundational step for building financial stability.”
Other support will be provided to families including gift cards made possible by Foodtown, and diapers for newborns gifted by the Mayor’s Office.
The first three grants were made this week to a new mother, the family of the one-year-old victim of this weekend’s Bed Stuy shooting, and a 53-year-old woman who lost employment because of COVID.
“I was feeling very down and wondering how I was going to take care of my family,” said Celeste Blake, mother of three, including a newborn. “I had to cancel my baby shower because of COVID-19 which was going to help me with the needed clothes, food, and other baby supplies. This came when I needed most.”
The fund is intended for those affected by COVID-19 that lost income, employment, and/or are otherwise not eligible for benefits or have increased expenses. Priority will be given to Central Brooklyn displaced restaurant workers and single mothers whose child care needs have made work impossible. Those granted funds will receive ongoing access to benefits, jobs support, and financial coaching and counseling.
Funding for Restoration’s relief fund is made possible by MetLife, Robin Hood Foundation, the Arizona Community Foundation, United Way/BET, Cabrini Foundation, Foodtown as well as other individual donors.
Those interested in accessing the fund and other supports through Restoration should visit www.restorationplaza.org
— MOCAFI —
About Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation
Established in 1967 by Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Jacob Javits, Restoration is widely recognized as the first community development corporation. Restoration relentlessly pursues strategies to close gaps in family and community wealth to ensure all families in Central Brooklyn are prosperous and healthy.
About MoCaFi [Mobility Capital Finance, Inc.]
Mobility Capital Finance, Inc. (MoCaFi) is an African American owned fintech serving Americans who exist in the economic margins as unbanked or underbanked. MoCaFi is addressing the market failure in the banking industry by reimagining financial services for individuals to ensure that all Americans have access to safe, secure, and affordable financial products and services.