PATHWorks Newsletter: JANUARY 2021
Success Story - Employment - Asset Building - Finances - Community Events - Housing Works Updates - Resources
SUCCESS STORY
Goodbye to 2020!

Talk about life throwing curve balls at us. 2020 was a record year for challenges all over the world and in the United States. Life as we knew it seemed to be changing day-to-day. Stay at home orders, masks, online learning, not to mention a run on toilet paper, challenged the resiliency of all of us. Then social unrest and images of protests and the cries of our fellow Americans for justice and change challenged us to look at our values. Questions and discussions on how together we might make lasting change to many of our institutions filled the air between both individuals and within society as a whole.  With the polarization of our politics and in the midst of an election year, it has been exhausting and it is no wonder many of us will be relieved that 2021 is here.

One thing we all know, when pursuing our goals and success in life, change is inevitable. You will always find yourself with detours and sometimes real barriers to reaching your goals. That is where your resiliency needs to kick in. Resiliency is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as, “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to adversity or change” and resiliency can make the difference between reaching your goals or not.

Resiliency was the key to several PATHWorks program participants reaching their goals in 2020. Three participants released all of their public assistance at their PATHWorks graduation and seven current or recent PATHWorks graduates became new homeowners! All of them forged ahead in spite of challenges they faced to reach their goals, so congratulations to all of them.

If you are interested in learning more about how to develop your resiliency, you might want to start with this blog on; 6 Goal-Directed Resiliency Strategies from Dr. Annie Tanausgarn,

Here is a quick sample from the blog.

“Resiliency is about reframing adverse life events as a way of rising to new challenges and conquering them. Those who are resilient often view challenges in their life as exciting or motivating where they begin setting new goals or where the lessons gained from past experience are now taken with them in their lives. By looking at adversity as a personal and positive challenge it can build your inner strength by creating goals that are aligned in overcoming those challenges.”  

Click on this link to read the other 5 Goal-Directed Resiliency Strategies.

Good luck in 2021. Expect new challenges and get ready to kick your resilience into overdrive to find solutions and breakdown barriers on the way to reaching your goals.
EMPLOYMENT
Marcus LeGrande pictured above
SNAP TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM (STEP)

The STEP program helps SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) - eligible students learn new skills and access training to increase their ability to obtain employment. Students are provided individual coaching services focused on career, college readiness, training and education opportunities. Students develop an education plan with their coach to guide their education and career goals. The STEP program can provide eligible students with resources to overcome certain financial barriers to their education such as transportation, food, course fees, testing fees, textbooks, and more.

If you are facing barriers to education, please contact COCC's Career Success Coach, Marcus LeGrande by email at: mlegrand2@cocc.edu or by phone at: (541) 318-3798. Or submit a Student Assessment Form, and then Marcus will contact you.

For more information about the STEP program, click on the link below.

FINANCES
Alternative Credit Reporting

If you have little to no credit, there are alternative options to build your credit other than traditional credit. The term “alternative” or “non-traditional” credit refers to the type of bills you pay each month such as rent, utilities, insurance and any other recurring payment obligations (i.e. payments for obligations other than “debt”) that are not typically reported to the major national credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Read more below to find out a few of these options.

Experian Boost

Experian Boost helps consumers FOR FREE to improve their FICO Score by giving them credit for on-time utility, telecom and certain streaming service payments. Normally, your utility, phone and now Netflix payments do not factor into your credit scores. When you use Experian Boost, however, Experian uses your bank records to find on-time qualifying payments for these monthly bills.

Rent Reporting for Credit

If your property management company or landlord works with Experian’s RentBureau, your rent payment data can be reported to Experian for incorporation into your credit report with the bureau. Epic Property Management currently participates in Rent Reporting for Credit. If you rent from a different property manager, talk to your property manager to see if they have this set up, and if not, you can always ask if they will!

eCredable Lift

There’s a new option for you to build or enhance your TransUnion credit report. eCredable Lift allows consumers to report their phone and utility bills to TransUnion to create an initial credit report or enhance an existing one. Cost: $24.95/year.

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By adding these records to your credit file, alternative credit reporting helps you build positive payment history. Payment history is the most important factor in calculating your credit scores, so adding records of on-time payments can be very valuable.

The length of your credit history also plays a big role in determining your credit score. Adding more accounts to your credit file helps you build credit history by showing more evidence of active accounts and on-time payments.

If your goal is to improve your credit score and you don’t have traditional credit to rely on, you can focus on building alternative credit starting with the three options listed above, Experian Boost, Rent Reporting for Credit or eCredable Lift.

* DISCLAIMER: We do not endorse any of these products. This is for informational use only.
ASSET BUILDING
Affordable Homeownership Opportunities in Redmond

In Spring of 2019, Bend Habitat became Bend-Redmond Habitat (BRHFH). That means big things for the City of Redmond’s affordable homeownership opportunities. BRHFH is building more units annually than in the past, which provides increased affordable homeownership opportunities for qualifying families looking to live in Redmond. That is great news as the cost of buying a home continues to rise in Central Oregon.

BRHFH's latest project is within walking distance to Quince Park and is a contemporary 10 unit townhome community. BRHFH estimates that these homes will be available to purchase by Winter 2021.
This is a great opportunity if you feel that you have been priced out of the current home market due to rising home prices. So, don’t give up on your homeownership dream, because if you qualify, Habitat for Humanity homes are very affordable! If you are interested in finding out if you qualify for one of these amazing homes, please click on the brochure links below for the qualification guidelines.

There is a formal application process that begins January 15 and closes February 1, 2021. Applications will be posted starting January 15, 2021 online at BRHFH. Email BRHFH with any questions or call 541-385-5387. Llame al 541-394-4148 para español.
COMMUNITY EVENTS
The way you apply for benefits and manage your information is getting an upgrade!
DHS Integrated ONE System

The state of Oregon is upgrading the OregONEligibility or ONE, system that Oregonians will be able to use to apply for benefits and manage their information. Once the upgrade is completed (February 2021), Oregonians will be able to apply for medical, cash, childcare and food benefits using a single online application. ONE will make it possible for Oregonians to apply for multiple programs with one, comprehensive online application.

Oregonians can also continue to apply with a paper application, over the phone or in person for any of these programs at any Self-Sufficiency Programs (SSP), Aging and People with Disabilities, or Area Agency on Aging office in their area that currently provides these benefits. Click here for more information.
HOUSING WORKS UPDATES
DEVELOPMENT
New Properties

Housing Works is very engaged in the building of affordable housing in the region and has recently completed 90 units of affordable housing in Madras, Rolling Sage, and Redmond, Canyon Edge (picture shown above).

Construction work is still going on at three other developments:
Phoenix Crossing (above): Bend, Oregon - 24 units for special populations in Bend is a three story building with ground floor commercial space that will be EPIC Property Management's new corporate office. Construction started in July 2020 and should be completed around May 2021.
Legacy Landing (above): Bend, Oregon - 47 senior units. Mosaic Medical on first floor. Construction started in July 2020 and should be completed around October 2021.
Midtown Place (above): Redmond , Oregon. 47 workforce units. Construction started in September 2020 and should be completed around September 2021.
We are also very excited to announce a new development we are planning for Prineville on land owned by Housing Works on Peters Road. Named Barnes Butte Vista (above), we are planning 44 units of much needed workforce housing. Located in the shadow of Barnes Butte and adjacent to a 500 acre city park with over 9 miles of trails, the site will provide amazing views and access to the best the city offers for outdoor recreation right outside the door. Barnes Butte Vista’s design includes 26 three bedroom and 18 two bedroom townhomes with a craftsman flair that will be energy efficient and fit well within the existing single family homes in the area. The property also includes a community room, in unit washer/dryers, and a playground. The creation of new affordable family sized units in such a beautiful location, will provide much needed relief and stability for underserved populations.

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These communities should all be completed by fall 2021. Watch the New Rental Communities page on Housing Works’ website for updates.

Applications are typically accepted 2-3 months prior to construction completion. These will be managed by EPIC Property Management, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Housing Works. Please check https://epicopenings.net to find out which of Housing Works’ affordable properties located throughout Central Oregon, are currently taking applications.

HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER
Housing Choice Voucher Program
Waiting List Opening

The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program Waiting List will open:

Monday, January 11th, 2021 (8 am) through
Friday, January 15th, 2021 (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 2021 list.

Due to COVID restrictions, Housing Works will remain closed to the public during waitlist week. Staff will continue to be available over the phone during regular business hours to offer technical assistance. If you are in need of technical assistance, please contact Housing Works at (541) 923-1018 or email us at frontdesk@housing-works.org. We highly encourage that you do not wait until the last day of waitlist week to reach out for technical support. Additionally, Housing Works has partnered with different service providers around Central Oregon that can assist you with completing your application online.

  • Bend/LaPine, Redmond, Sisters, Jefferson and Crook County Schools
  • Bend VA
  • Best Care
  • Cascade Youth & Family Services
  • COVO
  • Deschutes County Mental/Behavioral Health
  • DHS
  • FAN
  • J Bar J
  • Latino Community Association
  • Mosaic Medical 
  • Saving Grace
  • Thrive CO
 RESOURCES