Ennis State Bank and FHLB Dallas support temporary housing in Ennis with $20K grant

Photo by PRNewsFoto/Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
Housing nonprofit A-CROSS is awarded a $20,000 partnership grant. From left: U.S. Representative Joe Barton (TX-6); Ennis Mayor Russell Thomas; Jesse DeLeon, A-CROSS president; Stefanie McGrath, executive director, A-CROSS; Bruce Hatton, vice president and Affordable Housing Program manager, FHLB Dallas; Julie Pierce, senior vice president and chief financial officer, Ennis State Bank; Bramlet Beard, president and CEO, Ennis State Bank.

ENNIS, Texas, Oct. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A Christian Response of Shelter and Service (A-CROSS) provides temporary housing for Ennis, Texas, residents in emergency situations. A $20,000 Partnership Grant Program (PGP) award from Ennis State Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) will help A-CROSS, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and a United Way agency, to help more people at a time when they most need it.

The check was awarded yesterday by representatives of Ennis State Bank and FHLB Dallas at the office of Ennis State Bank, 815 W. Ennis Avenue, with Congressman Joe Barton (TX-6) in attendance. A-CROSS will use the funds for administrative costs and to help expand its housing inventory, which currently is a four-plex of single-family homes in Ennis.

"Ennis State Bank is honored to support A-CROSS," said Julie Pierce, Ennis State Bank chief financial officer and A-CROSS board member. "We are seeing such a great need in our community. A-CROSS was formed to help people going through a rough time. It is a hand up, not a hand out."

U.S. Representative Joe Barton (TX-6) expressed his gratitude for the collaboration between the nonprofit and the banks. "FHLB Dallas works with local member banks to help their communities. I'm so pleased to see a great grassroots organization like A-CROSS benefit from this partnership," he said.

Through the PGP, FHLB Dallas awards grants through its member institutions, including Ennis State Bank, to provide funding for the operational needs of community-based organizations involved in affordable housing and economic development. FHLB Dallas matches the cash contribution of a member financial institution to a community-based organization of $500 up to $5,000 at a 3:1 ratio. Through its members, FHLB Dallas awarded $225,000 in partnership grants in 2014.

A-CROSS Executive Director Stefanie McGrath reported in 2014 that the organization has helped 13 families and fielded 493 phone calls. "As part of our services, in extreme emergencies, we help with motel stays, when a night or two will make a difference in the general welfare of the family, especially when children are involved."

The average stay is six months in one of the single-family residences that are part of the four-plex A-CROSS built. Many of the people housed by A-CROSS also are helped with education and job counseling. When they land jobs, a portion of the pay is set aside to be used later as a deposit on an apartment or home.

"The City of Ennis is very grateful for the work that A-CROSS does in Ennis as they provide interim housing for families in emergency situations," said Mayor Russell Thomas. "A-CROSS further assists these individuals in locating services that enable them to once again achieve independence."

In 2013, the nonprofit received approximately 600 phone calls, said Jesse DeLeon, A-CROSS president. "We could have helped a third more of those people if we'd had the facilities. That's why we have undertaken a capital campaign." He said that as a local organization, the volunteer board of 13 individuals and A-CROSS' one paid staff member don't have a national organization from which to obtain funding. "Everything we do is funded through local efforts. We greatly appreciate this grant from Ennis State Bank and FHLB Dallas."

The PGP enables FHLB Dallas to distribute funds through its member institutions to assist nonprofits with operational and administrative expenses. This is unique in that the regulations of most grant programs restrict the use of funds for this purpose, according to Greg Hettrick, vice president and director of community investment, FHLB Dallas.

"FHLB Dallas is honored to support A-CROSS and the work it does in the community," said Mr. Hettrick. "We heard from our member institutions that there is a tremendous need in our District to support the operational needs of nonprofits, and we responded by creating the PGP It has been incredibly well-received by our members and the community-based organizations that have come to rely on our members."

About Ennis State Bank
Since 1933, Ennis State Bank has been servicing the residents and businesses of Ellis County. Our old-fashioned philosophy of customer service, sound advice and a strong dedication to our community differentiate us from other banks. In 2012, we decided to bring this level of service to the Design District in Dallas and opened up our branch location, Trinity Capital Bank. To service your mortgage needs, we have ESB Mortgage, where our dedicated lending specialists are known for their honest pricing, excellent customer service, and competitive rates. At Ennis State Bank, Trinity Capital Bank, and ESB Mortgage our customers are our first priority. Bank with us and see what has kept our customers coming back for over 80 years.

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 12 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $37.5 billion as of September 30, 2014, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced advances and other credit products to approximately 900 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas.