Bellingham, WA – June 7, 2017 – As part of its commitment to strengthening, energizing and supporting the communities in which it operates, Peoples Bank today announced that it awarded Skagit Habitat for Humanity a $25,000 Peoples Bank Impact Grant. The funds will be used to purchase a new utility van to support the construction of new homes and the organization’s growing volunteer and administrative needs.
“We were so impressed with the mission of Skagit Habitat for Humanity and moved by the important work they do in the community day in and day out. We are thrilled to be able to support their much-needed services with this Peoples Bank Impact Grant,” said Michelle Barrett, Executive Vice President and Director of Retail Banking and Human Resources at Peoples Bank. “As a locally-owned bank with third generation family leadership, we pride ourselves on building strong customer relationships, creating local job and economic opportunities, and giving generously to the community.”
“We are so grateful to be selected as the recipient of this generous $25,000 Impact Grant from Peoples Bank,” said Kimberly Bell, Resource Development Coordinator of Skagit Habitat for Humanity. “We were in great need of a new utility van to be able to support our New Home Construction Program, the Skagit Habitat Store, special events throughout the year, and our Habitat Helpers minor home repairs program. This grant allows us to continue these programs without disruption so that Skagit Habitat Homeowners achieve the strength, stability and independence they need to build a better life for themselves and their families.”
Addressing an Urgent Need
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, nearly 21,000 people in Washington state are homeless. Further, homelessness grew in Washington state 7.3 percent in 2016, the country’s second-largest increase. In recognition of the crisis, Seattle declared a state of emergency in November 2015.
While much of the attention and resources are focused on the homeless problem in Seattle, organizations such as Skagit Habitat for Humanity provide critical services when it comes to addressing the issue in smaller communities. Despite ranking 11th in the state in population, Skagit County has the seventh-highest homeless population, according to the Washington State Homeless Count. About a quarter of those are unsheltered, almost half are children under 18, and about one in ten are senior citizens.
The 2017 Peoples Bank Impact Grant was designed to provide a maximum of $25,000 to a single organization for a specific project, use, capital expense or identified purpose that will have a long lasting, positive impact on the community. Approximately 50 community organizations were invited to apply for the grant.
In addition to the Impact Grant, Peoples Bank donates hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to local and regional nonprofit organizations providing valuable services in the arts, child and family services, education, health and social services, and civics. For more information about Peoples Bank community giving, please visit peoplesbank-wa.com/about-us/community-giving.
About Peoples Bank
Peoples Bank is a locally owned and operated, independent community bank with almost $1.5 billion in assets. Headquartered in Bellingham, Washington, the Bank was founded in 1921 and operates 25 branches and two loan production offices located throughout Washington. In its most recent rating, Bauer Financial, a leading independent bank rating firm, awarded Peoples Bank a superior rating of five stars. This rating recognizes Peoples Bank’s strong financial management practices, dedicated employees and long-standing customer relationships.