Since 1983 our Sisters in United States have participated in different “alternative investment funds” so that our resources could be at the service of the economically poor in a new way. Ordinarily the interest on these funds is lower than the going rate of interest in the banks.
In New York we joined with twenty-six other religious congregations and founded the Leviticus Fund in 1983. We have continued our relationship with them and have watched the fund grow immensely during the past twenty-four years. In 2006 there were $3.2 million in new loans approved and $2.6 million disbursed – a very strong lending year.
In Michigan we have been a participant in the Michigan Interfaith Trust Fund since 1991 and were honored by the organization this past November for 16 years of membership. The goal of this organization is to foster economic and social justice by providing loans and technical assistance for affordable housing and economic development throughout the state of Michigan.
During this past year we also invested some funds into Shore Bank in Chicago that strives to assist people in underserved neighborhoods by strengthening communities and creating healthier environments by lending to small local businesses, homebuyers, green builders and affordable-housing developers.
In a world where there is such need for economic justice we rejoice that opportunities for socially responsible investing are more available.
Written by Margaret Hoey