February 1, 2016 · Featured, PCRI

Save the Date! PCRI’s 5th Annual Dancing with the Stars Portland Gala will be held Saturday, May 14, 2016 at the Hilton Portland and Executive Towers. Visit pcrigala.org to learn details as they’re announced and to purchase tickets – now on sale. Volunteer and sponsorship opportunities are also available.

Dancing with Stars Save the Date

 

Sign up for PCRI’s mailing list to be the first to learn about the dancers who will compete in the 2016 gala and when tickets go on sale. We expect the event to once again sell out.

January 27, 2016 · Featured, PCRI

PCRI, Self Enhancement Inc. (SEI) the Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF) and the Urban League of Portland are collaborating for the African American Financial Capabilities Initiative to improve and protect the economic security of African-Americans in our region.

NWAFFunded by an initial $1.2 million in grants from the Northwest Area Foundation (NWAF), the initiative will bring together a cohort of African-American-led groups to provide culturally-tailored work that strengthens asset-building services, sharpens policy advocacy strategies, and grows leadership capacity to benefit the communities.

Collaboration is a key aspect of the initiative. Beyond the collaboration between the cohorts themselves and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Corporation For Enterprise Development (CFED), the grant supports and promotes efforts by the cohorts to reach out and convene other organizations that can work collaboratively with groups within the African-American communities of each city.

NAACP and CFED help establish a learning community among cohort members and work collaboratively to provide technical assistance to African-American asset-building organizations that will serve as local anchors for the African-American Financial Capability Initiative in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, Seattle, Tacoma, Portland and Des Moines, Iowa.

The technical assistance aims to support a sustainable network of African-American asset development entities that produce and deliver premium asset-building resources that better serve the African-American community and encourage financial capability.

The NWAF listens to, learns from, and leads others to grantees’ transformative program and policy work, which helps hardworking people and families overcome crises today so they can establish good credit, launch small businesses, save, and begin to feel secure and hopeful about tomorrow.

January 13, 2016 · Featured, PCRI

Weatherization WorkshopThe Community Energy Project and PCRI partnered for a pair of weatherization workshops held in January 2016. The workshops, which provided easy home weatherization tips and techniques, will help participants in PCRI’s Homeownership Retention program reduce energy costs while keeping their homes warm through the winter.

Thirteen senior homeowners at the January 13 workshop, and others at a January 6 workshop brought home a kit including weather stripping and other tools for insulating and reducing drafts. With easy-to-use instruction provided at the workshop, homeowners are able to begin saving energy and reducing their heating bills right away.

Miss the workshop, but are still interested? Contact PCRI’s Homeownership Retention program at (503) 288-2923 or by email or follow the link for more information from Community Energy Project.

January 11, 2016 · Featured, PCRI

PCRI is excited to host a workshop on Student Loan Repayment Strategies on Thursday, January 21, 2016, from 6-8pm. PCRI residents are invited to join us to learn about consumer options for federal loan repayment, and to discuss and de-mystify student loan default and delinquency.Student Loan Repayment Strategies Flyer

We will review income-driven repayment options for federal loans (including Income-Contingent Repayment, Income-Based Repayment, and Pay As You Earn plans) and provide information on how to sign up and estimate monthly payments. We’ll also discuss the differences between federal and private loans, and share information to help borrowers avoid or address loan delinquency and default. You may be eligible for a lower monthly payment on your student loans. Join us to get clear and concise information about your options!

We want to extend a special invitation to all PCRI residents who are interested in homeownership, as student loan debt has particular implications for mortgage-readiness. Many people throughout the country have large amounts of student loan debt that can make it difficult to achieve their financial goals, and thinking about debt can be overwhelming. PCRI is here to provide support, information and resources you need to remain an informed and empowered borrower.

The workshop will be held at the PCRI Annex, 6601 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd (two blocks north of PCRI’s main office). Contact Liz at 503.288.2923 x122 or by email with questions or to RSVP. We look forward to seeing you on the 21st!

 

January 5, 2016 · Featured, PCRI

While many children celebrated rare Portland snow days that extended school’s winter break into the New Year, many low-income working families faced a difficult choice: stay home but lose a day’s income and risk losing their job, or brave the elements to be able to pay rent and keep food on the table.

Arctic Blast 2008January’s snow and ice underscore the importance of providing affordable housing in walkable, opportunity-rich neighborhoods. Individuals who work in lower-paying jobs including grocery clerks, hotel and food service work and other service professions typically do not have the luxury of staying home from work or working from home when the weather is bad. But, when housing affordability forces workers to find a place to live in neighborhoods further away from frequent transit service and job centers, families can lose their stability with just one bad weather day.

PCRI is continuing to reinvest in North and Inner Northeast Portland neighborhoods where, even on snowy days, families have safe, reliable access to work, to grocery stores and to community centers where kids can safely play even when parents don’t get a snow day. Beyond ensuring safe, affordable housing, we help families build stability so one day of bad weather doesn’t create a black financial cloud that lasts much longer.

Click the links to learn more about PCRI’s current projects in construction and under development as well as initiatives to ensure existing homeowners are able to retain their homes.

December 24, 2015 · Featured, PCRI

PCRI staff coordinated with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to register and distribute toys to 97 resident kids this holiday season. Parents and kids–as well as PCRI staff–showed off big smiles as well as a carload of toys that helped make the holidays a bit brighter for deserving children.

In addition to Toys for Tots, PCRI worked with the Community Cycling Center once again this year, registering resident youth for the Center’s Holiday Bike Drive (follow the link for more photos). Several PCRI residents rode away with a new bicycle for the holidays, as well as safety gear and new bike safety and maintenance skills. Other residents used the Bike Drive as an opportunity to give back, volunteering at the event and helping other youth find the perfect fit.

PCRI Resident Services work one-on-one with resident families to help them find resources like Toys for Tots and the Holiday Bike Drive. Need a hand? Want to volunteer to help other families? Email us for information on upcoming programs.

December 17, 2015 · PCRI

PCRI ChristmasPCRI’s offices and community centers will be closed from Thursday, December 24 through Sunday January 2.  While we’re away, we offer sincere thanks for the priceless gifts shared with us this year: selfless volunteers, generous donors and sponsors, tireless advocates and allies.

In short: YOU.

You help ensure families have safe, affordable homes so they don’t have to choose between paying rent and buying healthy meals.

You help support seniors who need a little help with home repairs so they can remain safe and stable in the home they already own.

You help provide matched savings accounts so a family can realize their dream of homeownership or a college education.

You help create this list which could go on, and on, and on …

 

Thank you.

 

PS: Want to do more? ‘Tis always the season for a tax-deductible gift.  Contribute at pcrihome.org/contribute

Need maintenance assistance while we’re away for the holidays? Contact our emergency maintenance line.

December 7, 2015 · Featured, PCRI

Portland youth lined up for their pick of hundreds of bikes at the Community Cycling Center Holiday Bike Drive, Sunday, December 6, 2015. PCRI youth and other low-income children rode away from the event with a donated and refurbished bicycle, as well as free helmets, equipment and hands-on bike training. For many kids at the bike drive, this was their first bicycle and an exciting early holiday present.

PCRI resident Hermela enthusiastically shows off her new bike

PCRI resident Hermela enthusiastically shows off her new bike

Hermela, a PCRI resident, had an amazing time playing all the games, choosing her new bike, and riding it for the first time. PCRI was one of many partner agencies that referred families to the Bike Drive.

One parent was so thankful for this opportunity, noting that with such a tight budget Christmas presents are in question this year. Thanks to Community Cycling Center, partners and donors, the kids are ensured gifts under the tree. Each bike has an estimated value around $50, and with many participating families having multiple children, the benefit and opportunity of the bike drive adds up quickly.

PCRI resident Jericho (right) volunteered at the Bike Drive

PCRI resident Jericho (right) volunteered at the Bike Drive

In addition to youth receiving a new bike, PCRI residents were at the bike drive serving the community. Jericho has been interested in volunteering and helped give out helmets during the event. Each youth receiving a bike at the bike drive received a free helmet fit to size, as well as safety lessons and bike training to develop skills with their new bike.

Another PCRI parent was not only impressed by the amazing set up and knowledge of the staff and volunteers, but also grateful for someone else telling their kids to be safe, saying, “Parents can seem like nags about safety, so it’s good that the kids are hearing it from someone else this time! This helps!” The parent noted that they wanted the bikes to be a secret for Christmas but in the end was glad to bring their kids to such an informational experience.

PCRI staff member Kirk Rea helped families register them for the bike drive and brought his camera to the event to capture it in photos. It was “probably one of the cutest and most radical events I’ve been to,” he said.

For residents interested in connecting to similar resources, keep an eye on PCRI’s Programs page, contact a Resident Services Coordinator, and also follow us on Facebook, where we regularly share resources and opportunities.

 

December 3, 2015 · Featured, PCRI

PCRI is seeking licensed and insured contractors to perform a variety of residential repairs for homeowners in our Homeownership Retention Program. As part of this community program, PCRI partners with contractors to complete urgently needed repair work for homeowners age 55 and older. Additional program funds were recently announced for NE Portland’s Cully neighborhood. PCRI is interested in developing relationships with additional contractors to perform this work.

Home Builders

Photo: NBC’s “American Dream Builders” (not actual program contractors)

Budgets for the repair work are generally $5,000 per household. Common repair jobs include roof repair, accessibility modifications, plumbing and electrical repairs. Funds are provided through a contract with the Portland Housing Bureau.

To become an approved Homeownership Retention Program vendor, contractors must provide the following:

  • Federal Tax ID Number or Individual Social Security Number
  • Proof of License and Insurance
  • References

For additional information, or to become an approved contractor, please call PCRI’s Homeownership Retention program at (503) 288-2923. We look forward to partnering with you!

Click HERE for a flyer to print or share.

December 2, 2015 · Featured, PCRI

PCRI’s Homeownership Retention Program has financial assistance available to qualifying senior homeowners in need of home repairs in Portland’s Cully Neighborhood. Interested seniors are encouraged to contact PCRI as soon as possible, as funds are limited.

handymanWe are currently accepting applications from senior homeowners (ages 55+) for financial assistance to address urgent home repair needs. We are able to help a limited number of households who face home health and safety needs and/or code violations.

Financial assistance is currently available for residents of the Cully neighborhood: zip codes 97218 & 97213.

To qualify for assitance, applicants must:

  • Be age 55 or older
  • Have low- to moderate-income (please contact us for specifics)
  • Reside in the City of Portland

To request assistance or for questions, please contact PCRI Homeownership Retention program at (503) 288 2923 or by visiting us at 6329 NE MLK Jr Blvd., Portland, OR 97211.

Click HERE for a flyer to print or share.

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