Celebrating Nearly Four Decades of Partnership with the Sisters of Mercy

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Fahe is able to celebrate 40 years of Building the American Dream thanks to the support from great partners we’ve made along the way. The Sisters of Mercy were one of Fahe’s first major investors, providing a $35,000 investment during our earlier years which helped us find greater stability and bolster our wealth movement.  We are proud to have maintained our relationship for nearly four decades with the Sisters including building a strong relationship with their asset management program, Mercy Investment Services.

The Sisters of Mercy are an international community of Roman Catholic women who dedicate their lives to the Gospel of Jesus and take vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and service.  Founded by Catherine McAuley in 1843, they have a long history of addressing the need for social justice, healthcare, education, affordable housing, and social services in North, Central, and South America, the Caribbean, Guam, and the Philippines.  Mercy Investment Services enhances the financial resources of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas through socially responsible investing.  They engage in collaborative efforts to raise their corporate voice to effect systemic change in corporate policies and activities, provide capital to community organizations, and participate in investment opportunities consistent with their mission.

By investing in organizations like Fahe who have Members working on the ground, the Sisters are able to increase their impact in the communities who need their help the most. Fahe leverages our Network of place-based practitioners to help the Sisters inject capital into one of the hardest to serve areas of the country. Investments like theirs allow Fahe to offer lower rates to borrowers in our economically distressed region. This creates affordability to complete projects in underinvested regions. Mercy’s current and prior investments are an integral part of our investment strategy because they allow us to finance the shorter term construction/rehab of facilities until they are ready to use permanent capital from USDA CF Relending via the Uplift America partnership.

Sarah Smith and Sister Corinne Florek Discuss their long-standing relationship with Fahe.

Thanks to the Sister’s investments, we have been able to bring to life several essential community development projects:

  • Beattyville Hope Station, Lee County, KY, Fahe Member Beattyville Housing and Development Corporation (BHDC) received funding from the USDA CF Relending program through Fahe Community Lending (CL) to acquire and transform an existing structure into a much-needed homeless shelter named Beattyville Hope Station located in a USDA Persistent Poverty community: Beattyville Hope Station
  • Camp Kamassa, Copiah County, MS, Fahe’s CL is partnering with Hope Federal Credit Union, a Mississippi-based banking institution and long-time partner of Fahe, to provide $9.8 Million for materials to construct the 326-acre camp for children and adults with special needs: Camp Kamassa Promoting Healing and Confidence for Children
  • Recently in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fahe’s Community Lending has initiated an Emergency Loan Fund offering 0% interest loans should our Member organizations need assistance. The services they provide communities are particularly critical during this time and will be critical during our country’s recovery period. Extending Emergency Lending to Members during COVID-19 Crisis
  • Redbud Financial Alternatives, Hazard, KY, Fahe’s CL helped families impacted when the Blackjewel mines were shut down this past summer. Fahe made a $30,000 revolving line of credit available to Redbud, a CDFI founded by Fahe Member Housing Development Alliance. Redbud then established the Blackjewel Response Loan Program, which provided low-interest loans to 25 families over the two months following the Blackjewel crisis: Fahe Members Aiding Blackjewel Miners
  • Additionally, our CLF made an initial loan to Redbud to help them develop proof of concept and build a portfolio history which has positioned them to attract other investors: A Reliable Financial Alternative to Predatory Lending in Rural Kentucky

In this time of uncertainty in dealing with the global pandemic, investments like Mercy’s allow Fahe to remain a stable backbone organization supporting our Members who are needed now and will be needed when we enter a period of recovery. 

We hope to continue our impactful partnership with the Sisters, and we look forward to celebrating the next 40 years with them by our side. Together we are able to ensure that no communities are left behind in America.

Aaron Phelps
Aaron Phelps
Aaron collects stories from Fahe Members and the people they help in order to present the needs of Appalachia to the public through written word and video. In his free time he nerds it up by playing RPGs, writing fantasy stories, and playing drums.

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