Today we formally announce the formation of The CRA Collaborative, a peer group that provides bankers with opportunities to engage in discussion around Community Reinvestment Act-(CRA) related topics.
“For more than 20 years, CRA Partners has worked with community banks to help them meet the needs of their elderly customers while earning Community Reinvestment Act credit,” CRA Partners President and CEO David Lenoir said. “As CRA modernization began to take shape last year, we saw an influx of questions around the new rules and believed a forum such as the CRA Collaborative would be invaluable to bankers as they navigate questions and facilitate discussion around changes.”
The CRA Collaborative will hold quarterly online meetings, allowing CRA professionals at banks to work together to share their expertise and knowledge while learning new skills and best practices. They will also have opportunities to learn about ways to optimize their CRA strategy through a dynamic team environment.
“CRA Partners has been a great resource in helping our bank take advantage of CRA opportunities in our community, and now we have another valuable tool with CRA Collaborative to help foster meaningful dialogue and share insights among a group of like-minded peers,” said CRA Partners Chairman G. Scott McComb, chairman, president and CEO of Heartland Bank in Whitehall, Ohio.
The next CRA Collaborative meeting is scheduled for July 26. Membership in the CRA Collaborative is free for banks currently supporting CRA Partners programs and available through an annual subscription for all others. To learn more and join, visit https://shcpfoundation.org/cra-collaborative/.
We are pleased to announce our newest Senior Crimestoppers field rep, Deb Harrington. Deb will be serving the upper Midwest states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North & South Dakota as she provides resources and crime-prevention services designed to improve and enhance senior residents’ overall quality of life while living in our nation’s senior housing facilities.
Deb graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a focus in marketing from Ball State University, and went on to work for a social services agency in Indianapolis where she was a job coach for adults with disabilities and then became a group manager of operations for the agency. During this time, she also became involved with HUD as a housing tester where she worked to help identify and educate the community on the perils of housing discrimination.
She currently resides in the Chicago area where she has lived over 25 years and worked as director of marketing for global training & development companies, as well as, director of marketing for a grass-roots car-sharing non-profit. In her most recent role, she managed accounts in the Midwest, educating and consulting clients on challenging workers’ comp injuries.
Deb brings her wealth of professional experience to SHCPF with a deep passion that goes back to her childhood— visiting and building relationships with older adults in senior housing facilities. She is excited to pursue this passion as a Senior Crimestoppers field rep while actively promoting safety and enhancing living conditions for those living and working in senior housing facilities in our communities.
Roughly 20 percent of older Americans fall prey to financial exploitation losing on average $120,000, or $3 billion every year, according to a study from the AARP Public Policy Institute.
Be on the Lookout for Elder Financial Abuse Scams
It’s an all too unfortunate reality that older adults are attractive targets for financial exploitation because they tend to possess more wealth than other potential victims. This is wealth that in many instances has been accumulated over their lifetime through hard work and conscientious saving.
The Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation takes a proactive approach to detecting and preventing financial fraud against older customers through their programs that protect and educate residents and staff at local senior housing facilities on how to prevent elder financial abuse.
With World Elder Abuse Awareness Day happening on June 15, we wanted to provide our nation’s seniors and their family members with tips to guard against financial exploitation.
Medicare/Health Insurance Scams
It is difficult to imagine that someone could prey on those in need of medical assistance, but unfortunately, Medicare fraud is all too common. Criminals are posing as Medicare or medical supply representatives to obtain personal information or provide bogus services and using the information to bill Medicare or assume an identity to perpetrate fraud.
Another scam centers around a FEMA program to assist with funeral expenses. While this is a legitimate program, and you can reach out to FEMA to apply for these benefits, citizens should be mindful that:
As a good rule of thumb never share personal or financial information with anyone who contacts you out of the blue.
Zoom Phishing Emails and Internet Fraud
At the onset of the pandemic con artists registered thousands of fake Zoom-related internet domains to send phony emails, texts or social media messages to trick consumers into clicking on bogus links related to purported “account suspension” or “meeting” notices. Those that took the bait inadvertently downloaded malware (malicious software) on their computer, exposing their personal information to potential use by fraudsters.
Internet scammers are also known for sending fake text messages alleging trouble with an internet account, credit card, bank account or shopping order. Many even contain realistic looking logos to lure you into clicking on a link and divulging personal information.
To limit your exposure, avoid clicking on links from unsolicited emails or texts. If you suspect a problem with an account contact the bank or service provider directly.
Seniors schooled in etiquette may frown upon “hanging up the phone” or simply saying “no” to unsolicited calls, but it also leaves the door open to criminals posing as company representatives. Three notable examples include:
Remember, if it’s too good to be true it probably is. If you want to give go directly to the source. And if you are worried about a friend or family member, verify the information with them directly.
Scams are always changing. This year’s fraud will be replaced by a new and creative scheme next year. The Federal Trade Commission has a “scam alert” page with information about the ever-changing ways that scam artists target consumers, at consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts.
More resources available at https://shcpfoundation.org/resources/
Since the formation of our organization in 2000, CRA Partners has helped hundreds of banks obtain the CRA credit they deserve for ensuring safe, secure senior living environments. Currently, our programs operate in 47 states and protect more than 115,000 seniors in nursing homes, HUD facilities and state veterans homes. We have reduced crime in our member facilities by 96%, thanks to our bank partners’ funding and support.
Our Foundation assets are held in trust by Fifth Third Bank. Despite recent challenges of several large banks, our partners can rest assured that assets held in Fifth Third’s custody are not assets or liabilities of Fifth Third Bank. The Foundations’ assets are segregated from the Bank’s assets, so any difficulties a custodial bank may incur do not affect the health of our organization. Fifth Third Bank is well-capitalized and remains a source of strength and stability. Their role as custodian is to hold the assets for safekeeping, to collect dividends and interest and provide other similar services. Account ownership in the assets remains vested in the individuals or entities for whose benefit the Bank is acting as custodian and the assets are not subject to the claims of creditors of Fifth Third Bank.
Just as we have for over 22 years, we’ll continue to provide protection and an enhanced quality of life for vulnerable senior housing residents through meaningful turnkey CRA compliance for community focused banks. Thank you for your continued support.
Please join us in welcoming our newest field rep, Meeka McIntyre. Meeka will be providing service to senior facilities in a CA, NV, OR, WA, ID, MT, WY, ND, SD, CO, UT, AZ, and NM. Meeka currently resides in the Southern California area. She has worked with the U-turn Foundation as a Consultant, which provides prevention/intervention for At-Risk-Youth. She has also worked in Christian Education and in the Medicare Dept at Kaiser Permanente. From an early age, she has been passionate about helping our seniors. She even hopes to one day to open an elderly daycare. She is thankful for this opportunity and looks forward to working with everyone.
Over twelve years ago, we created a Veterans Initiative in support of our Foundation’s mission. The focus of the initiative is to reduce all aspects of crime and provide ongoing, effective crime prevention programs that ensure a safe and secure environment for the residents of Veterans Homes all over the U.S.
Protecting the veterans that have served our country continues to be not only an important part of the Foundation’s mission, but is important to community bankers as well. CRA Partners, a subsidiary of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), brings nursing, HUD, and veterans’ homes together with community banks for sponsorship in their assessment area, earning the bank CRA credit.
In honor of Veterans Day, we take this opportunity to thank the following banks for their continued support of this on-going initiative. When you see the image at left in the window of a bank, know that their sponsorship of this initiative is one of the many ways they choose to give back to the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much. Our heartfelt gratitude goes to:
1st Summit Bank
Bank Five Nine
Central Bank of Oklahoma
Community First Bank
Delaware National Bank of Delhi
First Citizens Bank (IA)
First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company
First Command Bank
First Community Bank of Tennessee
First National Bank of Pennsylvania
Franklin Savings Bank (ME)
Franklin Savings Bank (NH)
Happy State Bank
Kennebec Savings Bank
Machias Savings Bank
Main Street Bank (MA)
Milford Federal Savings & Loan Association
Park National Bank
Peoples Bank (NC)
Sturgis Bank & Trust Company
The Dime Bank
United Bank of Philadelphia
VeraBank, National Association
Westfield Bank, FSB
West Shore Bank
To better serve banks that support our Foundation, we have added a new member to our team. Steffani Jenkins will serve as CRA Liaison and Business Development Officer. Ms. Jenkins joins us with a wealth of experience gained in previous roles related to the CRA and Community Development at Cross River, Deposit Guaranty National, Iberia/First Horizon, Trustmark, and Regions Banks.
Ms. Jenkins brings a deep knowledge of the rules and regulations regarding the Community Reinvestment Act, and will aid banks in understanding how those rules apply to them, and how to best serve their customers and communities, while fulfilling their federally mandated CRA obligations.
“With CRA modernization on the horizon, we felt the time was right to create a support system to help bankers navigate the ever-changing waters of CRA compliance,” said David Lenoir, President & CEO of CRA Partners.
Steffani will also be instrumental in bringing together senior facilities that care for low-to-moderate income residents with banks in their communities that can provide sponsorship of programs that fight elder abuse and financial exploitation in those vulnerable senior populations.
Ms. Jenkins is a proud graduate if Mississippi State University and will be based in Vicksburg, Mississippi, working remotely out of our Memphis headquarters.
About the Senior Crimestoppers program
CRA Partners and Senior Crimestoppers are operated by the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation (SHCPF), headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee.
The SHCPF mission is to provide protection and an enhanced quality of life for vulnerable senior housing residents through meaningful turnkey CRA compliance for community focused banks.
Funded exclusively by the banking industry and endorsed by the ICBA and over 30 state bankers associations, the Foundation has developed a low-risk, profitable solution — CRA Partners — for banks of all asset sizes and charter types – to fulfill their federally mandated Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) requirements in the form of qualified loans, investments or grants through the operation of the nationally acclaimed Senior Crimestoppers program.
For more information about Senior Crimestoppers, visit SeniorCrimestoppers.org or call 800-529-9096.
We are pleased to announce that Arkansas Community Bankers has recently endorsed CRA Partners as a Preferred Solutions Provider in order to help protect vulnerable senior citizens in area nursing homes, while offering banks the opportunity to earn CRA credit.
We established The Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation a 501(c)(3) in 2000 as a way for banks to earn Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) credit through CRA-qualified loans and investments. The structure of the SHCPF opens a segment of society to service by banks – the residents, family members and staff of nursing homes and senior HUD housing properties. Supporting low-to-moderate income Senior housing residents is an approved CRA activity designated by the federal regulatory agencies, allowing banks to receive CRA credit for supporting Foundation programs in nursing homes, HUD senior housing projects and the nation’s Veterans Nursing Homes. The focus of the SHCPF is to reduce all aspects of crime and provide ongoing, effective crime prevention programs that ensure a safe and secure environment for the residents of senior housing. In part, this is accomplished through the installation of their protection programs: Senior Crimestoppers, Senior Secure, and Senior Sentry.
“As a subsidiary of ICBA, we are delighted to work with an ICBA affiliate association as strong as Arkansas Community Bankers to help their members continue to serve their communities,” said David Lenoir, President, CRA Partners.
For over 20 years, CRA Partners has helped banks obtain the credit they deserve for safeguarding seniors, all without overhead or administrative hassles. Banks get involved through a community development loan, community development investment or a grant. Their flexible, low-risk funding options also help tailor the program to your bank’s CRA needs.
For more information about the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation or to enroll in the program, visit www.SHCPFoundation.org, contact David Lenoir at the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation at (901) 529-4786 or email him at [email protected] .
Every year on June 15, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is commemorated in America and worldwide, with the purpose of raising awareness about the millions of older adults who experience elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. As many as 1 in 10 older Americans are abused or neglected each year, only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse ever come to authorities’ attention. Older Americans are vital, contributing members of our society, and their abuse or neglect diminishes all of us. WEAAD reminds us that, as in a just society, we all have a critical role to play to focus attention on elder justice.
CRA Partners is a turnkey CRA compliance program powered by the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation. The Foundation operates Senior Crimestoppers, a nationwide crime prevention program educating and safeguarding against theft, abuse and neglect, and is funded exclusively by the banking industry.
Now, banks that partner with them to satisfy CRA requirements, boost community relations, and develop new business relationships, while ensuring safe, secure senior living environments in their communities, will receive a new benefit: “Cyber-Savvy Seniors”, a Resource Portal, where partners with password access can download documents with information geared toward senior citizens that will help them navigate the ever-changing waters of online safety. Digital scams continue to increase dramatically, and seniors are particularly vulnerable to cyber-crime.
“Banks involved in our programs will now have access to these valuable resources to share with their older clientele on subjects like stopping robocalls, keeping their data safe online, and how to avoid things like gift card scams, phishing, and more,” said Shea Gabrielleschi, VP Southeast Region – CRA Partners.
Additionally, CRA Partners will co-brand the materials with the partner bank logo if desired, and can even add nursing home brand identity of the bank’s sponsored facilities, so that the information can be distributed to residents and staff at their sponsored facilities.
Foundation programs are already protecting over 100,000 seniors nationwide.
“We are happy to have supported the Senior Crimestoppers program for many years. We have supported a long-term senior care facility and one of the NC State Veterans homes through the program. Our commitment to these facilities is ongoing and we look forward to participating in them for years to come.”
– Joseph Lampron, EVP & CFO – Peoples Bank, Newton, NC
New materials will be added regularly to build this valuable resource library. To learn more about participating in our programs, and to gain access to these resources for your bank or senior facility, please visit https://shcpfoundation.org/resources/ or contact [email protected] (901) 529-4783.