News and Press Releases

Aug 12, 2019

Path to Independence wins Strong Communities Award with help from First National

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines (FHLB Des Moines) awarded $15,000 to Path to Independence (P2I), a local public-private partnership and affordable housing program nominated by First National Bank Alaska. In a public vote, the project was selected as the winner of the FHLB Des Moines Strong Communities Award in the urban category.

P2I addresses homelessness in the Anchorage community through a public-private partnership with various community partners such as Catholic Social Services, Cook Inlet Housing Authority, Weidner Apartment Homes and First National Bank Alaska, an FHLB Des Moines member financial institution which supported the award application. P2I supports individuals and families experiencing homelessness to secure stable housing and access support services and employment opportunities.

“We are pleased to award Path to Independence and First National Bank Alaska with $15,000 for this year’s Strong Communities Award,” said Mike Wilson, president and chief executive officer, FHLB Des Moines. “The P2I public-private partnership has increased awareness of this issue and has worked tirelessly to help homeless individuals break this endless cycle. We are excited to continue our support of this project and hope this award will help its continued success.”

“We’re First National proud of our community partners for spreading the word and voting daily to help P2I earn 12,000 votes,” said Betsy Lawer, Board Chair and CEO of First National. “P2I has helped many people achieve self-sufficiency, not only through housing, but by providing supportive services and employment opportunities. This award will increase awareness of this project and continue to help a number of Alaskans in need overcome the challenges they face.”

As of May 2019, P2I has filled 28 households with the goal of housing 40 by the end of August 2019. Additionally, through its support services, almost 90% of participants have found gainful employment. 

The Strong Communities Award honors the projects, people, and programs that promote small business growth and retention in their communities. The award was open to FHLB Des Moines members and community partners throughout the Bank’s district, consisting of 13 states and three U.S. Pacific territories. 

For a full list of this year’s Strong Communities Award winners and finalists visit www.fhlbdm.com/award.

Alaskan-owned and -operated since 1922, First National proudly meets the financial needs of Alaskans with ATMs and branches in 18 communities throughout the state, and by providing banking services to meet their needs across the nation and around the world. In 2019, Alaska Business readers voted the bank the “Best of Alaska Business” in the Best Place to Work category for the fourth year in a row. In 2018, American Banker recognized First National as a “Best Bank to Work For” and MSN.com named First National the most admired company in the state. In October 2018, First National received the Rita Sholton Large Business of the Year Award from the Alaska Chamber.


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