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PCRI residents are invited to improve their credit through paying rent online! Beginning Spring 2015, PCRI will accept rent payments through an Automated Clearing House (ACH), making it simple and easy to start building and improving your credit. Residents who have completed similar programs have seen credit scores improve an average of 23 points.
PCRI hosted information sessions in July for residents interested in the program. Residents who were not able to attend the information session are still encouraged to learn more by contacting Amy Dang via email or at 503-288-2923 x131.
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.
April is National Financial Literacy Month. PCRI is excited to celebrate with a Financial Education Program in partnership with Banner Bank. Residents who complete the four-class program will earn $100 to open a new checking account or use in other ways. The program includes four 2-hour classes on Tuesday evenings, starting Tuesday, April 28, and will cover topics ranging from budgeting, balancing a checkbook, managing credit and avoiding identity theft.
Classes are limited to 35 participants and pre-registration is required, so residents are encouraged to RSVP as soon as possible to Amy Dang at PCRI. The classes include:
Participants who attend and complete all four classes will earn $100 from Banner Bank. Class sizes are limited and registration is required. Contact Amy Dang, PCRI’s Financial Education Specialist, for more information or to register.
PCRI is excited to host cooking and nutrition classes at Park Terrace Community Center this spring. The classes, available to all PCRI residents, are in partnership with the Oregon Food Bank and their Cooking Matters™ program. Cooking Matters™ is a nationwide program of Share Our Strength which teaches participants to shop smarter, use nutrition information to make healthier choices, and cook delicious, affordable meals.
PCRI’s first class series will run once per week for six weeks from Wednesday, April 22 to Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Classes will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and participants will be provided a free bag of groceries each week. Lessons cover meal preparation, grocery shopping, food budgeting, and nutrition. These are hands-on classes where all participants will have the opportunity to practice fundamental food skills, including proper knife technique, reading ingredient labels, cutting up a whole chicken, and making a healthy meal for a family of four on a $10 budget.
Classes are open to all PCRI residents. For more information or to sign up, please contact Karissa by email or by telephone at (503) 282-1359.
PCRI believes wealth creation is a critical step along the path of stability and self-sufficiency. On Thursday, April 16, from 6:00 – 7:00pm, PCRI will host an asset building information session. PCRI offers several programs to aid with financial wellness and building savings, all aimed at empowering residents’ success. This information session will be a valuable opportunity for residents to learn more and sign up for these programs.
The asset building information session will be held at the PCRI’s Main Office at 6329 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
RSVP’s are requested. Please call Liz at (503) 288-2923 x122 or RSVP via email to confirm your attendance.
The Know Your Rights workshop provides essential information for tenants, including best practices for protecting your rights and communicating with your landlord. The workshop will also share information about rights of immigrants and families with children and ways to protect against harassment in housing.
RSVP’s are requested. Amharic translation will be provided at the workshop. Additional translation and/or translated materials may be available with advance notice.
The Fair Housing Council of Oregon (FHCO) is a nonprofit civil rights organization driven to eliminate illegal housing discrimination through enforcement and education across Oregon. FHCO promotes equal access to housing by providing education, outreach, technical assistance, and enforcement opportunities specifically related to federal, state, and local fair housing laws. These laws protect against illegal housing discrimination based on “protected class status” in any housing transaction and, in fact, any housing situation.
For questions about the workshop or to confirm attendance, contact John at Margaret Carter Center by email or by phone at 503-281-1778.
PCRI invites all Park Terrace and PCRI youth to join us as we explore new foods and learn new skills in the kitchen! The first meeting of PCRI’s Youth Cooking Club will be on Monday, February 23rd from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm.
The cooking club is open to all PCRI youth. And activities at this first meeting, will include decorating aprons, discussing safety in the kitchen, and learning to read a recipe card. We will also be making a delicious snack!
Youth must sign up to join and participate. If your child is interested in participating, please sign up by emailing Karissa, coming by Park Terrace Community Center, or calling the center at 503-282-1359. All youth who participate will receive their own apron to keep!
Interested in lending a hand? Contact Karissa to express your interest in volunteering with the Cooking Club!
Families – Get the Tax Credit You Deserve!
To get these credits, you must file a tax return. Find out where you can get your taxes prepared for free in NE Portland by visiting Cash Oregon.
When you file your taxes, make sure you ask about these federal tax credits:
Oregon has additional tax credits for working families:
Also, if you get your health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may be eligible for the premium tax credit.
Consider putting your tax refund toward reducing debt, repairing credit, or starting an IDA matched savings account. Find out how you can make the most of your tax refund by contacting Amy Dang, PCRI Financial Education Specialist by phone at 503-288-2923 x131 or by email.
For two weeks in August, PCRI hosted the Maya Angelou Summer Youth Arts Camp, giving youth ages 5-18 an opportunity to use their imaginations and express their creativity while building character and confidence.
The annual camp has a different focus each year. For 2014, youth created and starred in a puppet play, thanks to help from Oregon Children’s Theater. Instructor and award-winning actor James Sharinghousen worked with camp participants to develop skills from acting and dance to learning to keep their attention focused.
While Sharinghousen worked with the youth on their theater skills, Resident Services Coordinator Jessie Blanchard helped youth create puppets and props for the camp’s play and provided additional motivation and support to ensure the youth’s success at the camp.
“It was amazing to see the transformation of the youth as they worked as a team to build a 20-minute play,” Blanchard said. “I was proud of them sticking with the performance, no mater how intimidating performing can be. After the final performance, the youth had gained a sense of pride from performing a show that the audience thoroughly enjoyed.”
Blanchard added that the camp participants got to take home the puppets they made at the camp, continuing their interest in storytelling. Each youth also graduated the camp with a t-shirt which they decorated while learning how to screen print.
The Maya Angelou Art Camp was started in 2004 by a community member as a free summer program for the children at the Maya Angelou Apartments and the surrounding neighborhood. After supporting the camp for several years, PCRI recently incorporated the camp into regular programming at the Maya Angelou Community Center. The Maya Angelou Art Camp, as well as PCRI’s Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Camp provide opportunities for growth and development for youth residing in PCRI housing and the surrounding community who typically lack access to summer programs and healthy foods outside of school.
On August 21, PCRI’s Programs and Resident Services Department unveiled a new client and group meeting space located at 6601 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The PCRI “Annex” is located two blocks from PCRI’s main office and will offer private space for meeting with clients as well as classroom-style group space to host larger meetings, such as Homeownership Program and Financial Education classes, Homeownership Retention forums, and Individual Development Account orientations.