Posts Tagged ‘Programs’

May 23, 2017 · by Travis Phillips · PCRI

Credit Building Class Flyer_ 5.31.17Are you looking for the best deals on a car? Cell phone? House? Loan? Join PCRI’s financial education program May 31 for a credit building class that covers the ABCs of credit and includes insider tips on how to build credit, even rebuilding badly damaged credit. Understanding your credit is an important step to ensure you get the best bang for your buck.

When:  Wednesday, May 31, 2017 – 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Where: PCRI Annex, 6601 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Portland

Due to limited seating please RSVP to Marqueesha Merriweather at (503) 288-2923 ext. 102 or by email. Click the photo at right for a downloadable flyer.

Interested in more information about PCRI’s financial education or homeownership programs? Learn more HERE. Homeownership welcome sessions are held twice per month and additional classes will be offered each month; please check back for more information.

February 7, 2017 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, PCRI

Takara 02PCRI awarded two new laptop computers to school-age youth living in PCRI housing at the beginning of February 2017. The two laptops were gifted to PCRI by Comcast at a late-2016 event providing information about Comcast’s Internet Essentials program. After receiving the computers, PCRI invited youth to submit letters describing how they would benefit from having a new computer. While PCRI received many deserving submissions, two winners stood out:

If it wasn’t already evident in Takara’s letter that she loves to read and write, it quickly became obvious when she came into PCRI’s office to pick up her new laptop. Her face lit up when she described what she would be able to learn and write on her new computer.

Takara 09Similarly, her mother Tiffany beamed as Takara talked about the focus areas of the IB program and how she had earned bracelets for each of the program areas, including thinking critically, taking risks, caring, being open-minded and more. IB schools encourage students outside of the basic common core lessons “by developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are motivated to succeed.”

Another youth picked up his new laptop from PCRI’s Maya Angelou Community Center.

“I have attended the Maya Angelou Community Center ever since it first opened,” wrote Joseph, age 14. “Since that time, I have usually used the center’s computers for homework, but now that I am in high school, by the time I get home the center is either closed or ten minutes to close. Never enough time.”

Joseph with New ComputerJoseph’s letter went on to describe how having a new computer would help him and both of his brothers with their studies and completing homework. Joseph was beyond happy when Resident Services Coordinator Adrena Christmas delivered the news that he had won the new laptop. His immediate response was that Ms. Adrena (as he calls her) was tricking him, but once he realized it wasn’t a joke, he thanked Adrena and PCRI over and over again for allowing him such a great opportunity.

“My teachers would usually assign work that needs to be on Google classroom, I cannot do it without a computer or internet capable device,” Joseph said. “My mother has tried hard to get one, but she never could afford to buy one. This computer will help me so much. My papers will be turned in on time, it will also give me something to do over the weekends.”

Since receiving his new laptop, Adrena remarked that Joseph has been in to the community center every day to work on it and she has noticed him become much more in tune with completing his homework.

“I will work as hard as I can to keep my grades up by using the device,” he wrote in his letter. “I will graduate by keeping my grades up by using the laptop that I am hoping to win.”

All of the staff members who read Takara’s and Joseph’s letters congratulate them on their new computers. PCRI staff look forward to reading more of Takara’s writing and seeing Joseph graduate in a few years from Grant High School.

About the Comcast Internet Essentials Program
Working side-by-side with schools, government, and non-profit partners, Comcast has connected more than 750,000 families—over 3 million low-income Americans—to the power of the Internet in their homes. This program has grown to be Comcast’s largest and most successful community investment initiative. Since 2011, Comcast has built a network of over 2,000 volunteers and over 9,000 non-profit and educator partners to help spread the word about Internet Essentials. All told, Comcast has provided more than $300 million of support for digital literacy training, benefiting over 4.4 million people.

January 17, 2017 · by Travis Phillips · PCRI

The most important step towards financial freedom is tackling a budget. Map out your goals, save money, keep track of your progress and make your dreams a reality. Join PCRI on Wednesday, January 25 to learn how to budget, find the motivation to save, and take home great tips on how to save money.Budgeting made easy flier_1.13.17

Date:  Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Time:  6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Where: PCRI Annex, 6601 NE Martin Luther King Blvd.

RSVP by 1/23: Via email to Linda or Suzanne or by calling (503) 288-2923

Interested in more information about PCRI’s financial education or homeownership programs? Learn more HERE. Additional classes will be offered each month; please check back for more information.

For more information contact Homeownership Program Specialist Linda Tellis-Kennedy or Financial Education/IDA specialist Suzanne Veaudry Casaus. Click on their names to contact them by email or contact them by phone at (503) 288-2923. Click the photo (above, right) for a downloadable flyer.

November 18, 2016 · by Staff · Featured, PCRI

Spending and credit habits can be easily tested during the holiday season: from temptation to overspend on those perfect gifts to discounts offered to open a store credit card. So it seemed to be a good time to revisit some tips shared at PCRI’s October financial education seminar.

how-credit-cards-workMyth: To get a high score, run up high balances on your credit cards.

Reality: Using  lot of credit is usually NOT good for your credit risk score. Roughly 30% of a FICO score is determined by a person’s reported debt, with particular emphasis on utilization of revolving credit such as credit cards (utilization = balance divided by credit limit). A rule of thumb is that people with high credit stores typically keep their utilization under 25% on credit cards.

Myth: Paying your credit card bill down to zero every month will boost your score.

Reality: Paying off your credit card is a great habit! You’ll avoid spending money on interest and likely keep your credit usage in the “good” zone. But … this great habit doesn’t necessarily translate into a higher credit score because scoring agencies generally see the balance as of a particular date, not how much is paid each month.

Myth: To raise your score quickly, open a new credit card or take out a loan.

Reality: The FICO score considers a wide variety of information about each reported account. A propensity to open new accounts and a short history on new accounts will likely hurt one’s credit more than help it. But if you take on new credit only as needed and use it responsibly, negative impacts of the new account will generally be offset within a few months.

lead_960Myth: To raise your score quickly, close any unused credit cards.

Reality: While it might seem like closing a credit card would help one’s credit score, that’s rarely the case. Having unused or available credit is more often viewed as a sign of lower risk for creditors. And although closing a credit card might be a worthwhile tactic so you don’t have the temptation to spend money you don’t yet have, it likely won’t boost your score (and might actually hurt it).

But you want to improve your credit score. What do you do? Here are the top suggestions from American Reporting Company:

  • Bring active past-due accounts current—and keep them current
  • Keep credit balances as low as possible, especially on credit cards
  • Request correction letters for any reporting errors
  • Limit new applications for credit cards or store accounts, but leave existing accounts open

So what are the factors that determine a FICO credit score?

  • 35% is based on your payment history for all accounts
  • 30% is based on the amount you owe on accounts
  • 15% is based on how long you have been using credit
  • 10% is based on your applications for new credit
  • 10% is based on types of credit used

Of course, these are just tips and recommendations. Your credit score considers deeper and more complex factors that just these few bullet points. Luckily, we can help. Join one of our upcoming financial education seminars or call us at (503) 288-2923 to make an appointment to meet with us one-on-one.

November 3, 2016 · by Travis Phillips · PCRI

Winter holidays can create challenges for any budget. But for families who are already fighting to make ends meet, the pressures of holiday gifts can be even more difficult. To help this holiday season, PCRI is partnering with Portland Fire & Rescue for their Toy & Joy Makers Toy Drive.

Toy Drive 6Residents interested in receiving toys for their children should contact Adrena Christmas by December 1, 2016. Registration is required for the Toy Drive; Ms. Christmas is available to provide assistance during the Maya Angelou Community Center’s regular hours.

Portland Toy & Joy Makers helps low-income families in the Portland area give their children toys for Christmas, which they have been doing since 1914. They rely on the generosity of the community in order to make this possible.

“Please continue to help make a Christmas wish come true for some girl or boy,” says Toy & Joy Makers to community members that would like to help. They accept donations of toys or money. Check their website for information about where to donate as well as suggested toy donations.

PCRI helps families each year as well, connecting and registering families for toy drives to help make the holidays brighter for deserving children. In 2015, 97 resident children received toys through these programs. PCRI also provides comprehensive financial wellness and budgeting classes to help families become and remain financially stable year-round. Interested in learning more? Email us or check out information on our programs.

October 7, 2016 · by Travis Phillips · PCRI

homebuyer workshop flyer-Oct16For anyone who has applied for a credit card, a personal loan, or insurance: there’s a file about you. This file is known as your credit report. Credit reporting companies sell the information in your report to landlords, creditors, insurers, employers and other businesses with a legitimate need for it. They then use this information to evaluate your applications for a car or home loan, credit card, or even an apartment lease. Having a good credit report means it will be easier for you to get loans and access lower interest rates.

Join PCRI and Kriss Parnell, Senior Loan Consultant at HomeStreet Bank, for this seminar which will help you better understand what goes into a credit report, how it can impact you, and what you can do to improve your report.

When: Wednesday, October 26, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Where: PCRI Annex 6601 NE Martin Luther King Blvd., Portland, Oregon

Due to limited seating, PLEASE RSVP TO LINDA BY MONDAY, October 24 via email or at (503) 288-2923 x131

Interested in more information about PCRI’s homeownership programs? Learn more HERE. Additional classes will be offered each month; please check back for more information.

For more information contact Linda Tellis-Kennedy at (503) 288-2923 or by email. Click the photo at right for a downloadable flyer.

September 29, 2016 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, PCRI

Yes4HomesIn August and September 2016, PCRI welcomed two new staff members to our Programs and Resident Services team. Both Linda Tellis-Kennedy (pictured, far left) and Suzanne Veaudry Casaus (second from left) bring deep connections to North and Northeast Portland as well as a diverse background of experience. In their new roles, Linda and Suzanne will help ensure that PCRI residents and other participants in PCRI programs have essential tools to achieve stability and begin building assets through matched-savings accounts and homeownership.

Linda Tellis-Kennedy, Homeownership Program Specialist

Linda Tellis-Kennedy is a native of Portland, Oregon. She was raised in Northeast Portland on Alberta from birth until 1999. Her parents and grandparents were survivors of the Vanport Flood and were relocated to North Portland then displaced again for the construction of the Memorial Coliseum. Linda went to King Elementary School and was bussed to Binnsmead Middle School and finished high school at Thomas Jefferson. She has rented, owned and purchased investment properties in North and Northeast Portland prior to the current gentrification epidemic.  In 2004, Linda moved to Atlanta, Georgia where she became a licensed Real Estate Agent. She invested in homes again. However, when the market crashed in 2006-07, she had to return to corporate employment. Linda moved back to Portland in 2011 and worked as a Case Manager for the Oregon Department of Human Services in a specialized Self Sufficiency Department.

Working with PCRI to purchase her home, Linda is grateful for the time and dedication she received from the staff that assisted her with training, classes and resources which helped her purchase a home in the Urban Renewal Area. Linda is very excited about her work as Homeownership Program Specialist at PCRI.

“I am looking forward to all of the things I will learn and experience here at PCRI,” she said.

Linda believes in the work and the vision of PCRI and says she feels like she is going to explode when thinking about all of the positive things that will be accomplished in North and Northeast Portland through the efforts and work that PCRI is spearheading.

Suzanne Veaudry Casaus, Financial Education/IDA Specialist

Suzanne Veaudry Casaus has lived in Northeast Portland for 15 years and has seen her neighborhood dramatically change and many of her beloved neighbors displaced. Since first working on gentrification nearly 20 years ago in Atlanta, she has been searching for innovative and successful programs addressing this very complex reality.

“PCRI’s commitment to providing affordable stable housing, education, access to financial assistance and a path to homeownership is exciting,” she said, adding, “for me, being at PCRI is like joining a family, a family with a passion for community, history and helping people.”

Suzanne will lead PCRI’s financial education and matched-savings Individual Development Account (IDA) programs. Professionally Suzanne has a varied background working at the Oregon Environmental Council, the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office and as an economics instructor at Chapman University. She has spent her career working as an advocate, organizer and educator striving to improve people’s lives in very practical ways.

“Working at PCRI is a dream come true.” said Suzanne.


September 12, 2016 · by Travis Phillips · PCRI

budget workshop 092016Buying a home is the biggest purchase most of us will ever make. Properly budgeting for this important purchase is critical! On Wednesday, September 28, Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives will host a budgeting workshop with tips, tricks and useful information for everyone–and especially anyone who would like to buy a home.

This Homebuyer Education class is designed to help residents who need help creating their first budget as well as those who already have a budget but need a boost to reach higher goals, including homeownership.

Interested in more information about PCRI’s homeownership programs? Learn more HERE. Additional classes will be offered each month; please check back for more information.

For more information contact Homeownership Program Staff Ted Salter or Linda Tellis-Kennedy at (503) 288-2923 or by email at or Click the photo at right for a downloadable flyer.

July 8, 2016 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, PCRI

Rent Credit Build Postcard single Mom_Page_1Since Spring 2015, PCRI residents have been able to participate in automatic online rent payments which also help build credit. Residents enrolled in the online program (also called Automated Clearing House, or ACH), have already seen an average increase in credit scores of over 37 points, and some have increased credit scores of 50 points or more.

Enrolling in the program is a simple and easy to start building or improving credit. Benefits of higher credit scores include reduced interest rates for loans, improved readiness for homeownership and more. To learn more, contact PCRI’s office at 503-288-2923.

For residents who are interested in the convenience of autopay, but are not interested in building credit, PCRI has an alternate payment option. Please contact us for more information.

May 23, 2016 · by Travis Phillips · PCRI

HO Debt FlyerAre you getting calls from collection agencies and you don’t know what to do? Do you want to clean up your credit so that you can achieve your goal of homeownership? On May 26, Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives will host a debt settlement workshop that will give you the answers you need.

This Homebuyer Education class is designed to help residents in any part of the credit spectrum with answers you need to reduce debt and improve credit. The hour-long class will help you get prepared to settle your debts before contacting your creditors (and hopefully before they contact you).

Interested in more information about PCRI’s homeownership programs? Learn more HERE. Additional classes will be offered each month and new public resources will soon be available; please check back for more information.

For more information contact Homeownership Program Coordinator Ted Salter at (503) 288-2923 ext. 130 or Click the photo at right for a downloadable flyer.

« Older Entries