PATHWorks Newsletter: November 2018
Success Story - Employment - Finances - Asset Building - Community Events - Housing Works Updates - Resources
SUCCESS STORY
Congratulations Laurie P.!

Laurie P. received her Housing Choice Voucher in 2007. At that time, she and her family were homeless. She said it was a blessing when she got the voucher. In 2013, Laurie decided to join the PATHWorks program. She was motivated and excited about the opportunity to increase her income and build her business, “Laurie’s Gentle Pet Grooming.” Laurie put a plan in place to increase her income, improve her credit score, and decrease her debt. 

Laurie started by getting her business registered as an LLC. Her business quickly expanded. She hired an employee, which was a bit scary, but she pushed through her fear. Laurie has been awarded “Best Dog Groomer of the Year in the Area” for several years in a row, which is validation of her commitment to quality and customer service. Her business success increased her earned income and she was able to start earning escrow savings, which is a financial incentive of the PATHWorks program tied to an increase in earned income. With her additional income, Laurie opened a VIDA, 3:1 matched savings account to continue to grow her business. With her finances and income stabilizing, Laurie was able to pay down her debt and increase her credit score. 

Laurie focused on much more than just the financial aspects of her life during her PATHWorks program participation. Laurie volunteered for the PATHWorks Program Coordinating Committee as a participant representative. In addition, Laurie graduated from the Steps to Economic and Personal Success workshop. The workshop focuses on how the mind works and the importance of changing your mind to help set and achieve your goals. Laurie took what she learned to heart and started to visualize her future from a new perspective, understand how decisions are made, and set a new vision for her future goals. Well, it worked for Laurie in a big way! Before Laurie joined PATHWorks, she was going through a lot of personal challenges. As her time on the PATHWorks program was coming to an end, Laurie said she was not the same person as when she joined. She stated that she went from a “hot mess” to becoming more stable - mentally, emotionally, and physically. She likes who she sees in the mirror now and attributes her success to the hard work, guidance and determination that helped her gain self-confidence and increased self-efficacy.

Laurie is enthusiastic about her future journey and continues to set and work towards her new goals. Congratulations Laurie P. for graduating PATHWorks!
EMPLOYMENT
Occupations in Demand

The State of Oregon Employment Department website has a wealth of valuable information to help you make informed choices regarding your career goals.

Did you know that currently the top four growing occupations in the Central Oregon area are manufacturing, healthcare, technology, and construction? The web site also provides a variety of tools to help you educate yourself on career profiles that include occupation descriptions, wages, projected growth, job openings and a lot more. Of course there are local jobs listed as well. Whether your interests lie in welding or coding you will benefit from visiting https://www.qualityinfo.org/#.

Let's face it, it takes a lot of effort and determination to enter into and sustain a new career, so it pays to know if the field you have chosen to pursue has a bright future. Take a peek at this flyer: Occupations in Demand. It's a great place to start!
FINANCES
Apps that help you Save

If you have read our newsletter before, you know that we are all about creating and managing a written budget. Of course the goal of a well managed budget is to create space to start saving money to build a stronger financial future. Saving money takes discipline and commitment as you know and can often slide down the list of priorities. That is where technology can step in to help automate your savings and provide support to keep you on the saving track.

There are several smartphone mobile savings apps that you might want to explore to help you save. A quick internet search will bring up several options, so do your research before jumping in. Be aware that some of the apps charge a fee and some offer straight FDIC insured savings, while others are incremental investment products (see next article). Here are two apps you can start with:

Digit - The major benefit of Digit is that it enables non-savers to save money. That’s no small benefit either. The most recent Go Banking Rates savings survey indicates that  57% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings , and a staggering 39% have no savings at all. https://digit.co/

Qapital - Qapital lets you set “rules” to automate savings. For example, every time you spend money, Qapital can round the spare change up to the nearest dollar and move the amount into an account insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Or you can contribute a lump sum to your fund on a regular basis. You’ll need an outside checking account to link to Qapital to fund your various goals. https://www.qapital.com/

Whether you chose to use an app or not, there is no better time than now to start savings for a stronger financial future.


NOTE - We do not endorse or recommend any of the products listed in this article. They are used as examples only. It is your responsibility to research and select a product that is right for you if that is your desire.
ASSET BUILDING
Incremental Investing

On a tight budget, saving for retirement may sound like it is out of your reach, but not so fast. There are several ways to start small incremental deposits into an IRA or other investment products.

If you're not familiar with investing in the stock market, IRA's etc. for your retirement, then it's time to start educating yourself. It's not as daunting as you may think. There is a ton of information on the web or ask your friends and family who invest about how they got started. Your bank may also be able to help. You need to know the risks and rewards of investing in the stock market, so make sure you have all the information you need before jumping in.

One way to start with small incremental investments is to use some of the new smartphone apps that are out there. Here are two apps you might consider exploring:

Acorns - The easiest way to save for retirement. They recommend an IRA that's right for you and then update it regularly to match your goals. Get started in under a minute and join more than 250,000 Acorns Later investors. https://www.acorns.com/

Robinhood - Lets you invest in the stock market for free, directly from your phone or desktop. https://about.robinhood.com/

There are other apps that provide small incremental investing options, so do some investigating to see if one might work for you.

Time is your friend when investing so start now for the long-term. Your retirement is too important to put off. A little money invested regularly over time will add up quicker than you think. Again, there is no better time than now to start saving for a strong financial future, and what better way than to invest and increase your retirement savings?

NOTE- We do not endorse or recommend any of the products listed in this article. They are used as examples only. It is your responsibility to research and select a product that is right for you if that is your desire.
COMMUNITY EVENTS
NeighborImpact Energy Assistance Program

Energy Assistance available from NeighborImpact!
See flyer below for more information.
HOUSING WORKS UPDATES
Development:
Ochoco School Crossing Grand Opening

On Monday, October 29th, Housing Works joined partners, sponsors, community members and state-level dignitaries to celebrate the grand opening of Ochoco School Crossing. Ochoco Elementary School served the community of Prineville for nearly 70 years, before closing its doors in 2013. Over 200 people participated in the event.

Housing Works purchased the property, and with the help of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and HOME funds from the state of Oregon, the abandoned school has gained a second life as an affordable apartment community. Ochoco School Crossing is a mix of studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments. The property is income restricted to households at or below 50% AMI. All 29 units were leased up in one week, driving home the desperate need for more affordable housing in Prineville. 

Speakers at the grand opening included Sarah DeVries, State of Oregon Housing Stability Council Member, Mayor Betty Roppe, Representative Mike McLane and Senator Dennis Linthicum. Additional speakers representing Wells Fargo, NeighborImpact, and Crook County Parks & Recreation District participated. The property was dedicated to Tom Kemper, Housing Works former Executive Director, who was instrumental in getting Ochoco School Crossing funded and built. 

Afterwards, speakers gathered in front of the residential entrance to cut the ceremonial red ribbon. Guests were allowed to tour the property, with peeks into 9 of the 29 already occupied apartments, wide interior hallways and three community rooms. The former gym, where the speakers addressed event guests, will soon operate as a community recreation center. 

The Ochoco School Crossing campus is a wonderful mix of affordable housing, space for community gatherings and classes, opportunities for connecting through the onsite recreation center, and plenty of outdoor space to mingle and bond as a community.

Dignitaries shown below cutting the Ochoco School Crossing Grand Opening Ribbon.
HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER
Housing Choice Voucher Program - Waiting List Opening

It's almost the beginning of a new year! With that comes the opening of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program Waiting List. The waiting list will open:

Monday, January 14th, 2019 (8 am) through Friday, January 18th, 2019 (5 pm)

This program is open to low-income qualified residents of Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook counties. Applicants must apply online at  www.oregonhousingworks.org.

The time you apply during the week does not impact your position on the waiting list. All applications taken during the open period will be randomized by a computer and placed on the waiting list to give all applicants an equal chance. All current applications are purged from the waiting list on December 31st. Anyone who is currently on the waiting list needs to reapply to the 2019 list.

If you need assistance filling out the application, Housing Works will have staff and computers available at our office located at  405 SW 6th St., Redmond, OR 97756 between 8 am and 5 pm during the application week.

You may call Housing Works for more information at: (541) 923-1018.
Housing Works Awarded 40 New Mainstream Vouchers for Rental Assistance

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced in the beginning of September that Housing Works, the regional housing authority for Central Oregon, was awarded 40 additional “mainstream” vouchers which provide rental assistance for non-elderly persons with disabilities and their families. The Mainstream Voucher Program is a sub-set of the Housing Choice Voucher Program. The vouchers will assist non-elderly persons, aged 18 to 61, who are disabled. HUD awarded $98.5 million to 285 public housing authorities across the country to help house an additional 11,931 non-elderly disabled households who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, at serious risk of institutionalization, or transitioning out of institutional or other segregated settings. 

Housing Works’ Executive Director David Brandt shared, “We are thrilled to have been awarded these additional vouchers through the competitive NOFA process. Our goal is to get these new vouchers into the hands of eligible households within the 2019 calendar year.”

Prior to this award, Housing Works managed 1,203 vouchers through the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program. Through these programs, Housing Works was able to house over 2,600 individuals in 2017 in rental units on the private market. Housing Works paid out $7.6 million in Housing Assistance Payments to over 505 landlords last year. The 40 new Mainstream Vouchers have an annual dollar value of $273,812. Applications for the new vouchers will be taken in January with Housing Works’ annual waiting list opening. There will not be a separate waiting list. Please refer to the article above about how to apply during the waiting list opening.

Visit www.housing-works.org/vouchers for more information.
  RESOURCES