FARGO, N.D. – Today, Alerus Financial, N.A. presented leaders of the Jeremiah Program with $750,000 to be used toward construction of a permanent campus for low-income single mothers and their children in Fargo. The contribution is being distributed through the North Dakota Housing Incentive Fund (HIF), a tax incentive fund created by the state legislature to encourage investment in affordable housing projects. HIF is administered by the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency.
“Alerus is proud to support this program, which transforms lives two generations at a time by providing affordable housing and early childhood care and education so single mothers can pursue their dreams of earning higher education degrees,” says Dan Doeden, market president, Fargo and West Fargo, Alerus. “The young women and children who will be helped through this program could very well become the leaders of our region one day, and we are happy to help provide the boost they need to achieve their goals.”
Alerus’ contribution is the largest single contribution made to Fargo’s Jeremiah Program to date. In recognition of this significant commitment, the program will name the early childhood center at its Fargo Campus in honor of Alerus.
Jeremiah Program offers affordable housing, on-site early childhood education and support for single mothers to attend college. The program currently operates campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn. The 20-unit Fargo campus, located at 801 Page Drive, is expected to undergo construction beginning in spring 2016, pending the successful completion of a $5.3 million capital campaign. The Alerus Child Development Center is expected to encompass 11,285 square feet of space on the main floor of the three-story campus, which includes fully furnished apartments available for program participants to rent at a cost of no more than one-third of their income.
“We are grateful to Alerus for its support of this worthwhile project,” says Diane Solinger, executive director of Jeremiah in Fargo-Moorhead. “The confidence their contribution shows in Jeremiah Program has proven to be a catalyst in helping to raise awareness and encourage others to help us meet our financing goal.”
Jeremiah Program is open to low-income single women with children under the age of 5. To be eligible to participate, women must be enrolled in a two- or four-year college program and must work at least part-time. Potential participants are also required to attend a nine-week empowerment course prior to being accepted into the program.
Currently, more than 2,300 single mothers are living in poverty in the Fargo-Moorhead area, a number that has increased 16 percent over the last six years. The majority of these mothers have children under the age of 4 and lack stable housing and affordable childcare.
About Jeremiah Program
Jeremiah Program offers one of the nation’s most successful strategies for transforming families from poverty to prosperity two generations at a time. Jeremiah’s proven, holistic approach begins with establishing a supportive community for determined single mothers to pursue a career-track college education. Through a combination of quality early childhood education, a safe and affordable place to live, and empowerment and life skills training, their families are stabilized and able to find a path out of poverty.
About Alerus Financial Corporation
Alerus Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries Alerus Financial, N.A., Alerus Securities Corporation, and Alerus Investment Advisors Corporation, offers business and consumer banking products and services, residential mortgage financing, employer-sponsored retirement plan administration, and wealth management including trust, brokerage, insurance, and asset management. Alerus Financial banking and wealth management offices are located in Grand Forks and Fargo, N.D., the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. metropolitan area, and Scottsdale, Ariz. Alerus Retirement Solutions plan administration offices are located in St. Paul, Minn., East Lansing and Troy, Mich., and Manchester, N.H.