In these stories, explore the power of partnership to improve economic outcomes in low- and moderate-income communities across the US. 

Meet the people behind the projects

You might be familiar with their work. Now get first-hand accounts of partners collaborating with other organizations and agencies to effect positive change in communities today.
“We’re the driving force behind the state’s economic initiatives, and we cover things from wind farms to food deserts to businesses to day cares,” says Christina Fuentes, VP of Community and Business Development, New Jersey Economic Development Authority. “We were always known as the ‘state bank,’ but now we’re doing more diverse things…”
“Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) know the needs of the communities they serve. Placing the funds in the hands of those CDFIs produces better results,” says Pete Upton, Executive Director for the Native360 Loan Fund and interim CEO for the Native CDFI Network (NCN).
“I always focus on what keeps me here [at HAC]. It’s the work and the mission of the organization,” says Terri Charleston. Her work often extends beyond affordable housing to other rural development issues such as broadband access and helping veterans fund essential home improvement projects.
“Tell me the story of your life.” Every call Alex Fuentes made for the American Voices Project started with this same request. The project began as a way to study US poverty. It has grown into a trove of personal narrative and oral history of how people across the US experienced the COVID-19 pandemic.