MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- When John Signorelli, Executive Director of the Community Living Corp Foundation, was at a financial crossroads, he turned to The Westchester Bank for help.
The Community Living Corp Foundation, or CLCF, is a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to adults living with disabilities, and supports the agencies which serve them. Today, CLCF supports five service-minded organizations which offer independent living opportunities, special needs services and financial planning for mentally challenged adults.
"When we began this organization in 1988, we realized there were no good living arrangements for mentally handicapped people," said Signorelli. "After parents and community members pledged $1 million of donations, the CLCF was licensed and we created 10 group homes and 35 supportive departments."
In 2003, CLCF decided to combine all five organizations under one roof, rather than stay spread across Westchester as they had been for years. To do so, the charity was going to need a bigger building. Although Signorelli believed he had received a building loan for a new structure, the bank unexpectedly pulled its funding, leaving him and CLCF in dire straits.
"After the bank pulled out, I was at a quandary because I knew I had a limited time before the lease on our building expired," said Signorelli. "Suddenly I remembered John Tolomer, President of The Westchester Bank, who I knew for years, and decided to give him a call."
In the fall of 2013, Signorelli placed the call and the rest is history. The very next day Tolomer and The Westchester Bank's Chief Lending Officer came to CLCF's office and spent three hours reviewing lease plans. Just three days later, The Westchester Bank agreed to the loan and CLCF's move was in motion.
"I have been working with banks for 50 years and that doesn't happen in the real world," said Signorelli. "We were a non-profit with no real assets or a great track record and no personal guarantees. The Westchester Bank was going strictly on the basis of who we were reputationally and on the strength of what we presented to them."
In the fall of 2013, CLCF moved three of the five organizations to the new facility and have plans to include the remaining two later this year.
"This deal would have never happened if The Westchester Bank hadn't made a quick decision based on John's business instincts and a willingness to help out a non-profit that was doing great work," said Signorelli.
Find out more about The Westchester Bank by clicking here.
Find out more about the Community Living Corp Foundation by clicking here.