PATHWorks Newsletter: JULY 2021
Success Story - Employment - Finances - Asset Building - Community Events - Housing Works Updates - Resources
Congratulations to our Two Newest Kôrazón Homeowners: Dana and Ginger!
Kôrazón is Kôr Community Land Trust's first homeownership community developed in partnership with Housing Works of Central Oregon. The Kôrazón community is a cluster cottage style with perimeter common shared grounds where five zero-energy homes are located. The homes in this community are 2-bedroom, 2-bath, 1,100 square feet. Two of our PATHWorks participants recently became first-time homeowners in the Kôrazón community. Read on to find out how they did it.
Dana enrolled in the PATHWorks program in September 2018, shortly after she graduated from Oregon State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Sciences. Dana enrolled in PATHWorks with the goal to increase her income and prepare for homeownership. She started by completing an analysis of her current finances, including a review of her income, credit report, and knowing the amount she had in savings. She knew to prepare for homeownership, she needed to have the income to support the mortgage loan, a sufficient credit score and a low-to-no debt amount to be approved for a home loan with loan terms that offered her a low interest rate, and she needed savings for the down-payment and closing costs. Dana then developed a written budget where she identified her spending and savings plan to pay her monthly expenses and to be more aggressive on paying down her debt and increasing her savings balance. In addition, Dana started saving in the VIDA 3:1 matched savings program to save for homeownership.

Dana wasn’t just focusing on improving her finances and financial capabilities. She also worked on improving her employability. Dana conducted informational interviews in the field she received her degree. Through this process, she joined the Healthy Families Advisory Board. Dana also became more interested in politics and has been regularly participating in Deschutes Democrat Party meetings and is the Congressional District 2 Alternate with the goal to increase her awareness and understanding in politics to take an active role in civic duties, community building, and helping guide policies. Throughout this journey, Dana had the opportunity to increase her income through raises, increased hours to full-time employment, and other bonus opportunities at her current place of employment with a local satellite retail service company. From this income increase, Dana started to earn escrow savings.

Earlier this year, Dana had everything in place to graduate from the PATHWorks program. She maintained suitable employment and completed her other identified goals: to improve her financial capabilities and prepare for homeownership. She completed the MoneySmart financial education course and first-time homebuyer education. Dana graduated PATHWorks and purchased her home using her VIDA savings and escrow funds! Congratulations Dana!
Ginger also purchased a Kôrazón (Kôr) home earlier this year! Ginger enrolled in the PATHWorks program in September 2016. Ginger's goals were to seek and maintain suitable employment, increase her education, and prepare for homeownership.

During Ginger's participation in the program, she participated in and completed many employment and job skills workshops through COIC/WorkSource as well as graduating from the STEPS (Steps to Economic and Personal Success) workshop series through the PATHWorks program. In addition, Ginger enrolled in and passed education courses through COCC and Oregon State University such as Grant Writing, Word Press Professional Development, Project Management and computer courses. Not only has she worked on improving her employment skills through classes, but Ginger has also participated in many volunteer opportunities including but not limited to High Desert Food and Farm Alliance as the Cooking Matters Coordinator, Traces of Central Oregon, and Grandma's House. Ginger continues to improve her skills to work towards her career goals.

For Ginger's homeownership goal, one of the first steps she took was to increase her credit score. She completed a Credit Builder Loan program. Ginger was able to get her student loans forgiven during this time. Completing these two major tasks increased Ginger's credit score and lowered her debt. She completed the MoneySmart financial education course and first-time homebuyer education. Ginger also started volunteering for Kôr Community Land Trust. Through learning more about this new affordable homeownership opportunity, Ginger was ready to take the next step to work towards her homeownership goal. She applied for and was accepted to purchase a Kôr home.

Ginger is no stranger to challenges and obstacles and through her perseverance and determination, she has taken the steps needed and did the work to accomplish her goals. Congratulations on all your progress Ginger and keep that momentum going to continue to make and achieve your goals for the future you set for yourself!

Kôr's application process is currently closed. If you are interested in applying for future opportunities, review their Recommendations, Requirements and Preferences to see if you meet the criteria. If your household does not meet the minimum criteria, but you would like Kôr to review your case on an individual basis, please direct this request to
Career Exploration Through the Library

Central Oregon libraries are about more than books. The Deschutes Public Library also offers a career section that includes online tools for career and employment resources. These resources can help you begin your job search or you can use them to improve your personal skills. For example, there are many courses available in Gale Courses that you can take to learn new skills such as Spanish, Quickbooks, Grant Writing, Effective Communication, and many more!
Below are a few of the resources you can access.
  1. Get a Job Tip Sheet 
  2. Job & Career Accelerator – Powerful tools and expert guidance to help you find a great job.
  3. Learning Express – take career or college online practice tests and brush up on basic math, reading writing and computer skills with online tutorials.
  4. Gale Courses – Update old skills or learn new ones. Choose from hundreds of interactive, instructor-led 6-week online courses. As a library cardholder in good standing, you are entitled to these courses at no cost. Courses run for six weeks and new sessions begin every month.
  5. – offers a variety of technology, business, and professional courses primarily through video tutorials ranging from one to thirty minutes long.

A Deschutes Public Library card is required to access most of these resources remotely. If you don't have a library card, click here to learn more.

Click on the images below to learn more about these resources available through the library.
FINANCES is a great resource for financial education and debt relief options to work towards financial freedom. It is a non-profit organization that provides consumers with financial tools, and debt and credit services. They have financial coaches that offer confidential and professional credit counseling, budgeting assistance, debt management services, bankruptcy education and housing counseling. also offers online personal financial education and seminars to guide consumers in improving their personal finances, one step at a time.

If you need help getting out of debt or improving your credit, get started for free with a credit coach today! Start here.

One of the services that offers is a Debt Management Plan (DMP), by partnering with nonprofit credit counseling agencies. A DMP consolidates a consumer’s unsecured credit and debt payments into one convenient monthly payment. Some of the advantages of having a Debt Management Plan include rs include a reduction in interest rates and/or elimination of late fees through concessions from your creditors.

Even without a DMP, credit counseling clients benefit from a free, confidential session that provides them with a workable budget and expert advice on managing personal finances and reducing debt over time.

If your goals include building your credit, decreasing your debt, or owning a home, check out

Disclaimer: The majority of services offered through are free. However, some counseling requires a nominal fee. Such fees may be reduced or waived depending on hardship. Check here for more information.
Applying for Scholarships

You are your strongest asset and advocate. There is a strong correlation between educational attainment and income levels. Research shows that the more education one has, the higher the income they will earn. For many people, how to pay for a college education is one of the first major financial decisions they'll make. Applying for scholarships is one way to help pay for college and is money that you do not have to pay back.

One of our PATHWorks participants, Aimé, shares her experience in applying for scholarships in the video below. Take some time to watch the video, and then check out these resources and the ones mentioned in the video.
Additional advice on applying for scholarships comes from another one of our PATHWorks participants, Crystal. She shares her experience in applying for and receiving scholarship funding below. Crystal and Aimé, graciously took their time to share this information to help guide others who might be interested in attending college and to encourage them to apply for scholarships in an effort to reduce the amount of student loans they may need and will ultimately owe in student loan debt.
Crystal: "There are thousands of grants and scholarships available and are at reach to students if found eligible. For myself, I began by applying for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) where I qualified for a Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and the Oregon Opportunity Grant. (Most types of grants, unlike student loans, are sources of free money that generally do not have to be repaid.) DACA or undocumented students, can complete the Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA), an alternative to the FAFSA.
The best resource, to begin with, would be scheduling an appointment with a financial aid officer at your college. That staff member will provide you information on how to manage your tuition and fees. Most colleges have a section on their website about paying for college, financial aid, and scholarships. On the COCC Financial Aid website, there is a lot of information and links for lots of student aid opportunities.
The scholarship that I am most grateful for is the COCC Foundation Scholarship. It helped me pay for two years towards my degree. To keep this scholarship, I wrote letters to donors, kept at least a 2.5 GPA, enrolled in 24 credits per year, and volunteered at one event per year.
For my early childhood education degree, I applied to and received the Partners In Practice Scholarship (PIP) through NeighborImpact. It helped with costs that couldn’t be covered from the rest of my scholarships, to purchase a laptop, rentals and books (if available) during the term. Also, I want to mention the incredible guidance and support I got from a higher education consultant​.
Hope this helps!"

Thank you Aimé and Crystal for sharing this information! And congratulations on your degree and navigating the financial aspect of paying for college by qualifying for these scholarships!

If you are a college student or interested in becoming one, we encourage you to apply for financial aid and scholarships! Don’t take out student loans if you don’t have to.
$50 Internet Discount Available!
Emergency Broadband Benefit-Helping Households Connect During the Pandemic

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an FCC program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing a monthly discount on the cost of broadband service from an approved provider. It will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:
  • Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
  • Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
Eligible households can enroll through an approved provider or by visiting:
Check out the Broadband Benefit Consumer FAQ for more information about the benefit and please continue to check back here for program updates.
Participating Broadband Providers
Various broadband providers, including those offering landline and wireless broadband, are participating in the Emergency Broadband Benefit. Find broadband service providers offering the Emergency Broadband Benefit in your state or territory. 

Watch this webinar for an overview of the Emergency Broadband Benefit, eligibility information, and enrollment procedures, and a preview of outreach tool kit materials developed for partners and the public to use to create awareness about the program.

Webinar slides: 

Affordable Housing Available Soon in Redmond

In partnership with the City of Redmond and other financing partners, Housing Works is constructing 47 units of affordable housing located at the north end of downtown Redmond. Designed by Pinnacle Architecture, the building has a modern flair and has been aptly named Midtown Place in reference to Redmond’s midtown district.

Midtown Place is a two-story building with 47 apartments consisting primarily of two-bedroom units with a few one- and three-bedroom units mixed in. The building will nicely complement the downtown area and provides residents with easy access to grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, banks, and employment opportunities. The building will have several community rooms, an exterior patio area and bike storage.

The anticipated construction completion date for Midtown Place is October 2021. As an affordable property, income restrictions will apply and rents will be substantially below market rate. If you or someone you know is interested in living in this new community, please watch the following websites, and for information about waiting list opening dates, eligibility and the application process.
Housing Works HQS Inspections Update

The health and safety of our clients, staff and the community is of high importance to us, which is why, at the start of the pandemic, Housing Works decided to pause all physical inspections for occupied units. Due to this temporary pause, a large number of occupied units were not physically inspected until it was safe to do so. Additionally, in an effort to support Housing Authorities, HUD released a series of waivers for its HCV Program. Nine of the 28 waivers implemented by Housing Works were specific to Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspections. Thanks to these waivers, we were able to temporarily use Landlord Self-Certifications to confirm that no non-life-threatening deficiencies were present. Although those waivers are set to expire on December 31, 2021, Housing Works has decided to resume physical inspections. This may seem like a scary time for many as there are still so many unknowns. I’m sure you’re asking yourself: What does this mean for me? Rest assured that Housing Works understands your concerns and we are implementing necessary measures to ensure the safety of our clients and inspectors.

If you are a Housing Choice Voucher Holder and you receive a letter regarding an upcoming inspection, listed below is what you should expect:

  • Notice of inspection will be provided with at least 2-4 week notice
  • Inspectors are asking COVID-related questions to ensure everyone’s safety. If there are COVID-19 related concerns, the inspection will be rescheduled. 
  • Inspectors will carry and wear proper PPE supplies upon entering
  • If you are not quite ready to allow entry, we’ll be more than happy to reschedule for a later time. Please keep in mind that we do have a deadline so we will need to inspect in a timely manner to comply with HUD requirements. 
  • Property owner or manager will be notified of the inspection results
  • To confirm that non-life-threatening conditions have been corrected on a failed inspection, we will accept alternative methods of verification (such as photos and/or receipts, invoices or completed work orders) by text or email.

As the community opens up and measures are lifted, Housing Works continues its commitment to keep everyone safe. To view a list of waivers implemented by Housing Works, click here. For any inspection-related questions, contact Kervin Villalobos at 541-323-7417 or Emylia Breckel at 541-323-7408.