How can congregations remove barriers to citizenship? The Resurrection Project thinks small dollar loans can help. TRP got its start in 1990 when six parishes in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood offered $5,000 each in seed money to address the issues of blight, violence and neglect. In the past 25 years, the organization that started with $30,000 in seed money has provided $346 million in community investment (new homes, rental housing and community facilities).
Last year TRP entered a partnership with the Second Federal Credit Union to give no-interest loans so that immigrants can get their citizenship papers. Father Brendan Curran states, “Our legal status is not a given thing. We have to work for it, we have to organize, we have to get our papers in order. Today we’re inviting people to do so. But above all, we recognize that we don’t want any barriers to that.”