The Africatown Community Land Trust (ACLT), known by most as a partner on the Liberty Bank Building Affordable Housing Development and the upcoming Africatown Plaza project is literally paying it forward and challenging those across the city who can do the same to take action. ACLT announced that they will be injecting $90,000 in the coming weeks across several different sectors in the Black community in Seattle. Including renter relief, mortgage relief, small business support, and resources to bolster existing community-based initiatives.
What Africatown is not injecting directly in cash, they are investing in human resources in the form of hiring a Resource Navigator who will assist community members to effectively locate resources in a timely manner. ACLT will also be allocating funds earmarked for communication and awareness across culturally relevant media and communications platforms.
The financial need across these sectors of the Black community far exceeds the $90,000 that the Africatown Community Land Trust has committed to and according to the Africatown Community Land Trust’s President and CEO, K. Wyking Garrett, the ACLT is encouraging Seattle area businesses, organizations, and individuals to join the ACLT’s match challenge and bolster efforts to support those most vulnerable in the African American community.
“We know that $90,000 is a drop in the bucket when you consider the overall need, however, we hope that community members will step up to join us in supporting our residents and businesses.” Said Garrett who added “We are also asking our development partners and the broader community to join us in this cause.”
Last month the ACLT was a recipient of a grant from the Seattle Foundation which was intended to bolster Africatown’s operations during this time when many non-profits like ACLT have literally seen the bottom fall out of their operational revenues, much of which is dependent upon donations, fundraising, and grants. ACLT thought it best to pay as much of the grant forward directly to those most marginalized by the COVID-19 crisis and by doing so encourage others to match.
Africatown has released a list of initial recipients of Community Based Initiative Response grants. ACLT identifies Community-Based Initiatives as those that acted immediately with limited tools and resources to offer aid and comfort to those in our community most in need.
Joy Hollingsworth of the Emergency Feeding Program said that the donation was right on time for the organization which right now is not so much battling food costs but operational costs.
“We are thankful because it’s huge because we have costs across our operations, gas costs, rent costs, employees, even the food donations have to be sorted. This donation really helps us to keep things going” said Hollingsworth
Jimaine Miller p/k/a The Def Chef of the Def Chef Kitchen said that the $1000 award “means everything to him”. According to Miller, the donation will go a very long way.
“$1000 means everything to us, that means 1000 meals for people in our community who are most in need” said Miller who added “ Africatown makes things grow, everything they touch in the community they impact in a positive way” said Miller.
Emergency Feeding Program is the only African American nonprofit in the State of Washington doing wholesale food distribution.
Africatown Community Land Trust’s matching challenge starts at $500 which will provide housing security assistance to one household (renter or homeowner). A $1000 match will provide assistance to one small business. The ACLT encourages those who have the capacity to give to do so.
Africatown Community Land Trust is working for community ownership of land in the Central District that can support the cultural and economic thriving of people who are part of the African diaspora in the Greater Seattle region. The Africatown Community Land Trust board is comprised of real estate professionals, business executives, entrepreneurs, and other professionals and long-time community members from the Central District.