CommunityWorks North Dakota: Helping Families Dream
In 2001 when the Dakota Foundation's $50,000 investment (PRI) with a seven-year term was approved, CommunityWorks North Dakota was still a fledgling organization just starting its DREAM Fund, a flexible revolving loan fund that helps mostly low-income families buy, build or repair their homes. During calendar year 2001, the program was available in 10 counties, and about a half-dozen families were provided loans totaling less than $100,000. Today, the program is accessible in more than 30 counties, and over $17 million in DREAM Fund loans have helped nearly 600 families. In 2007, $4.6 million was loaned, a 40 percent increase over 2006 lending; in 2008 we are on pace to loan $5 million.
The Foundation’s original PRI in 2001 played a critical and important role in that growth. At the time, it was one of our largest single sources of support, and it represented a show of confidence and trust that helped attract more supporters. Certainly it was helpful in attracting and leveraging the local financial support needed a couple of years later when Jamestown and Stutsman County were added to the fund’s service area.