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It’s official! PCRI is realizing our dream of building affordable, sustainable homes for new homeowners.
This morning, Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick (pictured above with Lori Medak of Fidelity National Title) signed closing documents–a final hurdle prior to deconstructing the existing structures and building the first four homes PCRI is developing for affordable ownership opportunities.
“This development represents our commitment to the community; it is a beginning,” said Fitzpatrick, who was jubilant to move forward with the project.
John Marshall of Portland Development Commission, whose funding will make these homes possible, touted the new homes as “incredible improvements to the neighborhood.”
While it’s been a long process leading up to this morning’s milestone, PCRI is especially excited to get started on construction. To stay informed about construction progress, become our fan on Facebook or follow us at twitter.com/pcri_home.
PCRI is always exceptionally thankful for our supporters. Now more than ever, the businesses and individuals that provide financial and in-kind assistance for our programs, our community centers and our residents make an immeasurable difference for PCRI families. With the help of our supporters, we help ensure our residents’ success on the path from basic survival and family stability to self-sufficiency and beginning the process of savings and wealth creation.
We extend a great big THANKS to
Community, n: an interacting population of various individuals in a common location.
This definition of community describes well what PCRI offers at our three community centers in north and northeast Portland. The common locations where PCRI residents can interact as well as learn, grow and seek community referrals are Park Terrace Community Center, Margaret Carter Community Employment Center and the Maya Angelou Community Center. The resident service coordinator at each center strives to connect residents with the various programs PCRI offers, as well as provide information and referrals to community resources.
These community centers are available to all PCRI residents (though we often request advance reservations due to space limitations). In fact, in 2009 we made noteworthy improvements and experienced great increases in utilization of our community centers:
In addition to the activities at our community centers, PCRI offers a variety of programs to support youth: paid internships, after school tutoring, dance and self-defense classes, art and craft lessons and a summer arts camp. For fun, we’re even able to hold monthly birthday parties. Thanks to our community partners, we achieved some great results for PCRI youth in 2009:
We’re proud of the success we’ve achieved at our Community Centers and with PCRI youth. Still, we couldn’t do it without the determined participation of PCRI residents. Want to get involved? Check out events on our Facebook page or read more about our Resident Services programs and volunteer opportunities.
So you’ve checked out descriptions of PCRI’s Programs elsewhere on our website, but you’re hungry for a little more information. Well, you’ve come to the right place! Our Programs Department has been feverishly working on new services for our residents–as well as make our current programs even better. Here are some highlights of our recent Programs successes:
Our Homeownership Initiative (launched in 2004) aims to transform PCRI residents from renters to first time homeowners. The comprehensive program includes intake and assessment, credit repair, one-on-one counseling, financial fitness, HUD-certified homebuyer education, monthly homebuyer club meetings, and post-purchase assistance. It’s exactly this type of program that goes beyond helping homeowners, says the New York Times: “These alliances have sidestepped the plague of foreclosure.”
Since 2007, PCRI has been working with the African American Alliance for Homeownership and Hacienda Community Development Corporation, with whom PCRI forms the Minority Homebuyers Assistance Collaborative (MHAC). Through the MHAC collaborative, PCRI residents have access to culturally-specific HUD-certified homebuyer education classes and additional funds to assist with down payment and closing costs.
We’re excited about 2009′s growth for our homeownership program and the successes of the residents who are enrolled:
As an integral part of our homeownership initiative, PCRI’s financial literacy program is designed to prepare individuals and families to better manage their finances and achieve family goals such as lowering debt and improving credit scores. Residents in this program are provided with multiple choices of sound and proven financial education curricula including: Money Smart, Dollar Works 2, and Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.
IDAs are matched savings programs that allow qualified individuals to set savings goals and make monthly deposits into a designated account. Each dollar deposited is matched 3:1. PCRI has been involved in the IDA matched savings program since 2007. In 2008, we expanded our community partnership with CASA of Oregon allowing us to provide IDA’s directly through PCRI. Residents have the ability to save in 3 major areas: homeownership, higher education, and home repairs. The program is so popular, we currently have a waiting list of residents wanting to take advantage of it. The program is successful, too. In 2009, PCRI:
Here’s our newest and most innovative approach to helping PCRI residents achieve their family goals. The Thriving Families program is the all-encompassing package that helps move residents from family stability to self sufficiency and begin the process of creating wealth. It incorporates all the programs and services PCRI currently offers, providing an effective vehicle to help families identify their needs and aspirations and put them into a strategic plan framework. Through this framework, each family member age six and older is able to create individual and family goals to be achieved. Monetary and other incentives are offered to participants who meet and exceed agreed upon milestones. These awards can assist families to overcome barriers they currently face. 2009 was an exciting year for the program as staff finalized details and began enrolling families. In 2009, we:
Next up: a look at the resources available at PCRI’s community centers, where we put these programs into action.