An organization that's helped hundreds of local residents renovate and buy homes is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Thursday the Economic Growth Corporation held a an open house in downtown Rock Island.
President and CEO, Brian Hollenback, says the organization was formed in 1998 when two non-profit organizations merged - the Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation and Breach Menders. And since then Growth has helped more than 700 families buy homes, helped repair more than 100 homes, and provided home-buyer education classes for 17-hundred people.
He says all of this has contributed to "stability and empowerment."
"There's a significant amount of empowerment when you own a home and are paying property taxes - you have a strong voice as it relates to concerns in your neighborhood as you speak to our elected officials. And again one of the biggest sources of wealth and wealth building is in owning a home."
Growth has worked with local lending institutions, plus a variety of state and federal agencies to pay for its various projects.
And for the future, Hollenback says its programs will continue, but focus on a comprehensive approach - including small and large development projects, micro-loans, and home ownership, plus youth education and mental health programs.