The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of unfortunate events, leaving communities and the families living in them devastated. Whether it is Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands as well as the many islands of the Caribbean, Mexico City or the coastal U.S., our homeland and that of our neighbors has been thrown into chaos. These communities, with the right help from government and non-profits, are faced with the challenge to be resilient, resourceful, and innovative in their effort to develop the answers to rebuild quickly and even better. These disasters are a stark reminder of how much we each live on faith – faith in our community to respond quickly and appropriately, in our own inner strength, and in the knowledge that our efforts will build upon already established foundations that will enable us to propel ourselves ahead.

I know from my own experience that in a crisis, the prevailing individual and institutional instinct is to single-mindedly address the crisis. What I have come to realize is that as we address the crisis, there is a very real parallel need to be met requiring a future orientation. Without a future orientation, we cannot address what has to be different and improved upon as we rebuild – or how the community can be more secure and resilient financially.

Future orientation is key and is what inevitably drives us to longer-term, intentional approaches to achieve financial security and equity. Rebuilding with this mindset affords communities and its residents a safer environment, the ability to build a nest egg of savings and equity, obtain insurance, and gain an education to be mobile in the workforce. Health, housing, wealth and security outcomes are all intertwined and a strategic approach every community requires.

AFN remains focused on how philanthropy and financial institutions can invest in asset-building solutions and partnerships that work for our workforce, their families, the children, and communities. In our upcoming brief, we will be sharing solutions on how philanthropy can be a driver in reducing income instability for those actively employed in the workforce. Stay tuned for its release in late October.

Join AFN. Embrace a proactive future orientation and help bring stability to communities and families facing so much volatility.

Joseph A. Antolín
Executive Director
Asset Funders Network