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PCRI and our Minority Homeowner Assistance Collaborative (MHAC) partners present a home repair resource forum on Thursday, March 15, 2012 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Please join us to learn about free resources in the community to help seniors with minor and major home repairs. Featured guests include Rebuilding Together, Community Energy Project, REACH CDC, Portland Housing Bureau, Home Depot, and CASA of Oregon.
The forum will also be an opportunity to learn more about MHAC and our efforts to help seniors prevent foreclosure and maintain homeownership.
For more information, call Andrea (503) 288-2923, extension 133.
Last weekend, PCRI and Cascadia Green Building Council’s Emerging Professionals organized a hands-on volunteer home improvement project in one of PCRI’s affordable rental homes. The volunteers teamed up with Green Hammer Construction in mid-February to observe and participate in Green Hammer’s Home Performance assessment process, conducting weatherization testing, inspecting insulation and verifying safe operation of combustion appliances, like the furnace.
Armed with information gained from the testing, the crowd of nearly two dozen volunteers (pictured at right), led by PCRI, Emerging Professionals and Andrew Morphis of Green Hammer Construction, tackled projects to make the home healthier, more comfortable and more efficient. Existing carpet was removed to expose wood floors that were ready for refinishing. Old kitchen cabinets were deconstructed to make way for new, more usable ones. Windows that were previously painted shut were once again made operable for fresh-air ventilation. Insulation was improved and volunteers slathered mastic on the heating ducts to ensure they operated as efficiently as possible. All of the materials that volunteers removed were carefully sorted to enable recycling and keep as much as possible out of the landfill.
PCRI’s Executive Director, Maxine Fitzpatrick greeted the volunteers before they started on the project. She thanked them for their service, adding that their volunteer efforts are priceless in supporting PCRI’s ability to provide below-market rate rental homes to residents who rely on these opportunities to stabilize their lives and return to self-sufficiency.
In addition to the home improvement benefits realized by PCRI, volunteers utilized the day as an opportunity to learn more about efficiency, home performance testing and existing buildings.
“I think there were a lot of learning opportunities for energy efficiency projects as well as the real world variability of existing buildings and the challenges that they inherently represent,” said Emerging Professionals volunteer Jackie Kingen.
To reward the volunteers’ hard work, Parr Lumber rolled up to the work site with their BBQ trailer and grilled up a meal of burgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers (plus some chips and cookies for good measure!) to refuel the volunteers on the day of the event.
Click on any of the pictures below to view the full size image.
PCRI’s is a Community Partner with Cascadia Green Building Council and the International Living Future Institute for their upcoming Living Future 2012 Conference. The conference, scheduled in May, will be the Northwest’s premier Green Building conference and expo. More information about the conference can be found at the Cascadia GBC’s website.
For low-income Oregonians, identifying tax deductions and completing tax forms is as important as it can be confusing. Many families and individuals unknowingly overlook valuable tax credits they are eligible for. To help, PCRI is hosting CASH Oregon’s free tax preparation services at our Margaret Carter Neighborhood Network Center. PCRI residents and other community members can register for an appointment by calling Lisa at (503) 281-1778. Additional information is available at CASH Oregon’s website or in the flyer pictured below.
The assistance, provided by AARP Tax Aides in conjunction with CASH Oregon, will help identify eligibility for a variety of tax credits, including Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Oregon Earned Income Credits and Oregon Working Family Child Care Credit. In addition, Oregon IDA participants may be able to deduct 2011 interest and contributions on their state taxes. Once the participant and the tax aide have identified eligible credits and deductions, the tax aide will be able to e-file the participant’s 2011 tax return.
Interested participants should bring to their appointment a picture ID, their social security number and/or ITN as well as documentation of income (W-2s, 1099s, etc.), records of tax-deductible expenses such as child or dependent care, property taxes and mortgage interest. For direct deposit of any refunds, participants should also bring banking information, including their account number.
CASH Oregon, like PCRI, is committed to improving the financial health of low income working families, individuals, and seniors. Their Earned Income Tax Credit outreach and free tax preparation programs—coupled with financial fitness programs like those provided by PCRI and other organizations—provide families and individuals with the tools and resources to begin building solid financial futures.
This tax preparation assistance is free to the community and is a valuable way PCRI residents and other community members can stretch a limited income. Appointments are required. Please call Lisa at (503) 281-1778 to schedule yours.
Having a bike is special for 6-year-old Ameia Vaughn. “I feel great when I ride,” she said.
Ameia was one of many PCRI youth who received a bicycle with help from Resident Services Coordinator Lisa Williams. PCRI residents with children ages 3-8 were personally contacted by Williams who then helped residents register for Community Cycling Center’s 16th Annual Holiday Bike Drive, held on December 11.
“You went out of your way to make this holiday season special for us,” said Courtney Roser, whose two children Veda and Cadence grinned as they took their bikes for a spin around the bike rodeo safety course.
Before riding around the bike rodeo, the youth got to pick their new ride from a dizzying selection of bikes. Cadence (pictured below) was a bit shy in front of the camera, but was excited about her choice of bicycles: “It’s pretty and fun,” she said.
This year, the Bike Drive provided over 465 bicycles, helmets and safety trainings to youth from partner agencies like PCRI. In addition to pre-registering the youth for their bicycles, Williams and PCRI staff member Travis Phillips joined the families at the event to ensure everything went smoothly.
Judging by the giant smiles on the kids’ faces, everything went very smoothly.
“I like to ride,” said Dominic Weatheroy matter-of-factly before pedaling around the safety course.
His sister Iserael (pictured above) was just as excited to ride, but had some other priorities too. “It’s pretty with lots of colors and flowers,” she said, posing proudly next to her pink, purple and blue bike.
To express our gratitude for organizing the event and providing the bikes, helmets and training, Williams and the new cyclists signed a giant thank you card. Williams delivered the card to the center a few days after the event and reflected on the difference made by her effort.
PCRI also extends thanks to volunteer Izzy Ventura for capturing great photos of the kids during the Bike Drive. Check out additional photos in the full gallery.