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Citizens Bank awards $400K to 20 Massachusetts nonprofit organizations to strengthen communities by fighting homelessness

Citizens Helping Citizens Provide Shelter grants come as HUD announces rise in state homeless population

BOSTON (December 11, 2013) – Citizens Bank today announced $400,000 in grant awards for 20 Massachusetts nonprofit organizations to fund housing and emergency shelter programming for homeless individuals and families. The awards from the Citizens Bank Foundation were announced at the Pine Street Inn and align with Citizens Bank’s strategic focus on fighting homelessness and strengthening communities across the Commonwealth: Citizens Helping Citizens Provide Shelter.

“We understand that homelessness is a pervasive and complex issue that demands the attention of corporations, non-profits and government to help our neighbors in need,” said Jerry Sargent, President, Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, Massachusetts. “That is why we invest in community partners that play key roles in both helping people before they get to that point and locating, engaging and providing shelter and services to those who are homeless across Massachusetts.”

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) New England Regional Administrator Barbara Fields and Massachusetts Undersecretary for the Department of Housing and Community Development and Chair of the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness Aaron Gornstein, joined Citizens Bank officials for the announcement.

“Citizens Bank should be commended for the active role it has taken in strengthening communities through funding non-profits and working with government to meet the needs of the Commonwealth,” said Barbara Fields, New England Regional Administrator, HUD. "Local housing and service providers in Massachusetts are on the front lines of helping us battle homelessness and they need help if we're going to cross the finish line."

A recent HUD report shows Massachusetts’ homeless population rose by 14.3 percent from 2010 to 2013. This increase came amid reductions in federal housing subsidies and skyrocketing rents in the Boston area.

“Homelessness is an issue that takes all levels of government, nonprofits, and the private sector working together to solve,” said Aaron Gornstein, Undersecretary for the Department of Housing and Community Development. “I applaud and thank Citizen’s Bank for stepping up and making this issue a priority.”

Citizens Helping Citizens Provide Shelter
Citizens Helping Citizens Provide Shelter is a component of Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities, part of Citizens Bank’s program to contribute to the economic vitality of the communities it serves

The Citizens Helping Citizens Providing Shelter grants announced today are being distributed as follows:

$50,000

$40,000

$30,000

$25,000

$25,000

$25,000

$20,000

$20,000

$20,000

$20,000

$20,000

$20,000

$15,000

$10,000

$10,000

$10,000

$10,000

$10,000

$10,000

$10,000

About Citizens Helping Citizens
Grounded in the belief that a good bank gives back to its community and to the people who live there, Citizens Helping Citizens is a program embracing the community goals of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc. – the commercial bank holding company serving consumer and small business customers as Citizens Bank and Charter One and commercial banking customers as RBS Citizens. The Citizens Helping Citizens program comprises five key initiatives supported directly by RBSCFG and also by its nonprofit charitable foundations, the Citizens Charitable Foundation, the Citizens Bank Foundation and the Charter One Foundation: Citizens Helping Citizens Fight Hunger, Citizens Helping Citizens Provide Shelter, Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities (economic development), Citizens Helping Citizens Teach Money Management (financial education) and Citizens Helping Citizens Give (volunteerism and colleague charitable donations). Across all of these initiatives, Citizens Helping Citizens strives to enhance quality of life and economic vitality in local communities.

About the Citizens Bank Foundation
Citizens Bank Foundation is a subsidiary of the Citizens Charitable Foundation, which is a charitable contributions vehicle of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc., RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. The foundation’s support is focused on human services, affordable housing and economic development. RBSCFG’s website is citizensbank.com.