First Federal Credit Union Sponsors $700,000 Grant for Willis Dady Homeless Services

First Federal Credit Union, Cedar Rapids, was the sponsor of a $700,000 Affordable Housing Program Grant that was recently awarded to Willis Dady Homeless Services to create Willis Dady Works, a supportive housing and employment hub to serve individuals and families leaving homelessness.  

The funds for the AHP grant were awarded by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines.  First Federal Credit Union is a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank, and only members are eligible to apply for the grant.  An application period is typically offered once per year and grants are awarded on a competitive basis.  First Federal was one of six Iowa institutions and the only credit union in the FHLB’s 13-state district to receive funding for its project.   

Willis Dady Works will be a multi-use project to provide employment services and long-term supportive housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The Employment Hub will be a one-stop shop for workforce training, direct employment, and on-site business enterprises with case management. Adjacent to the Hub will be 13 units of permanent supportive housing for individuals and families leaving homelessness. Housing residents will be people with long histories of homelessness for whom other housing programs have not been successful.

“We are ecstatic that the Willis Dady Works project was selected to receive the Affordable Housing Program grant”, stated First Federal Credit Union CEO Tom Chalstrom. “This project will address two major gaps in Linn County: the need for permanent supportive housing for individuals and families coming out of or experiencing homelessness and the need for low-barrier entry level job positions for people experiencing or near homelessness.  With this grant, we will continue our legacy of serving, supporting and meeting the needs of the community”.  

In addition to the Federal Home Loan Bank grant, funding for Willis Dady Works is from a combination of donor gifts, Hall-Perrine Foundation grant, and local economic development grants though tax credits.  The project is estimated to be completed in 2022.

About First Federal Credit Union

First Federal Credit Union is an 11,000 member –strong community credit union with offices in Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, Marion and Spencer, IA.  Originally chartered in 1926, First Federal Credit Union is the second-oldest credit union in the state of Iowa.  First Federal provides membership to anyone who lives, works, or worships in Linn, Clay, Dickinson, and Buena Vista counties in Iowa. For more information call 319.743.7806 or visit   First Federal Credit Union’s deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Association up to the full extent permitted by law.

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