Banking on Justice
Mississippi has more CDFIs per capita than any other state. Its financial ecosystem is a unique place, where bankers and residents are coming to see one another as allies despite a difficult history. CDFI's are leading the way. "If we don't help our community, the community’s going to die" says Huey Townsend, President and CEO of Guaranty Bank & Trust. Powered by nearly $2.5 million in awards from the CDFI Fund, his institution has emerged as a leader in providing financial services to the poor, along with a handful of others including Bank of Anguilla in the region. Guaranty Bank & Trust was among the top providers of home loans in the 13 Delta counties where poverty is a persistent problem. Local CDFIs together made fully a third of housing loans here, while the large national banks that dominate home lending in most areas made only a handful.