Aug 14th 2016 – Visit the Westwater Website Here
Westwater Financial, Inc. is a Native Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) affiliated with the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians located in Sonoma County, California. Westwater’s primary mission is to improve the financial situation of Dry Creek Rancheria tribal members who have been traditionally underserved by conventional banks. This is accomplished by providing financial education and access to credit via credit-builder and other consumer loans, as well as small and micro business loans. Westwater also offers an Individual Development Account (IDA) matched savings program for qualified low-income community members with earned income. In addition to its primary mission of aiding Dry Creek tribal members, Westwater’s services may be offered to other Native Americans and qualified non-tribal individuals residing in the tri-county service area (Sonoma, Mendocino, and Lake Counties) when available resources are not fully committed to its primary demographic target segment.
Westwater Financial’s mission is to provide access to capital, as well as financial education, coaching, and technical assistance for the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, along with other Native Americans and Alaska Natives residing in Westwater’s service area. This mission is based on the firm belief that by addressing the financial and credit needs of a traditionally underserved segment of our Indian community it will provide opportunities to stimulate economic development, promote self-sufficiency and self-determination, and will result in an enhanced quality of life for our community.
Westwater was created as an independent Native CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) in 2012 by our sponsor, the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians. The Tribe spent three years in planning and development to create Westwater. Westwater was incorporated as a non-profit entity under the State of California in May 2012. The organization has an independent Board of Directors, its own Executive Director, and received 501(c) 3 status under the IRS in the fall of 2012. We offer microenterprise loans, small business loans, and consumer and credit builder loans to our Target Market of American Indians/Alaska Natives (AIAN) living in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties in Northern California. To complement the loan products, Westwater will also offer financial literacy training, business plan training, credit coaching, and one-on-one technical assistance to clients. We have also entered into a partnership with the Dry Creek Rancheria Housing Department to offer Individual Development Accounts for the purposes of small business capitalization, first-time home ownership, or acquiring a post secondary education.