Camillus House Receives $1 Million Grant from Bank of America

Thursday, March 29, 2007 5:00 pm

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has made the first major corporate gift to the new state-of-the-art Camillus House Campus.

City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, Camillus House President and CEO Dr. Paul R. Ahr, Camillus House Vice Chairman of the Board Edward J. Joyce and Bank of America Miami-Dade and Monroe County President Gene Schaefer joined BAC Charitable Foundation President Andrew Plepler at the kick-off event for the “Open the Door to Hope” capital campaign.

“The partnership between Bank of America and Camillus House serves as a model for making a meaningful impact in improving the lives of Miami’s homeless population,” said Mayor Diaz. “Just as the City of Miami played an instrumental role in finding a home for the Camillus House Campus, we hope other corporations will support this effort as generously as Bank of America has.”

(L-R) Dr. Paul Ahr, Gene Schaefer, Edward Joyce, Brother Raphael Mieszala and Andrew Plepler.

The donation is the first corporate contribution Camillus House has received toward an extensive plan to create the new campus, which will be South Florida’s largest and most comprehensive center offering social and clinical treatment services to Miami’s chronically homeless.

“Camillus House and Bank of America share the common goal of creating opportunities in the lives of the people and communities we serve,” said Plepler. “As densely populated cities, such as Miami, experience increased demands for a variety of social services, community partners like Camillus House play a vital role in relieving some of that pressure and in turn improving Miami’s workforce. We are honored to help the homeless in this community by providing support for employment training to not only stabilize, but truly enhance their quality of life.”

Camillus House will use the grant to establish a career center at its new campus. This 6,000-square-foot educational resource facility will house a computer lab, library and classrooms to serve individuals enrolled in Camillus’ Job Opportunity Bureau (JOB) program. Funds from the grant will also expand this workforce development program by introducing new vocational curriculum supplementing the current training and placement services. With the new career center, Camillus expects graduates of the JOB program to nearly double from the current 256 to 500 annually.

“We are deeply honored and thankful for this gift,” said Dr. Ahr. “Exemplary corporate citizens, such as Bank of America, help us to achieve our goal of ending chronic homelessness in Greater Miami. Their support helps to sustain programs to treat and rehabilitate the hardest to reach segments of the homeless population.”

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