Volume XX | Month Day 20XX
PATHWorks Newsletter: AUGUST 2017
Success Stories - Employment - Finances - Asset Building -  Community Events -  Housing Works Updates - Resources
SUCCESS STORIES
Congratulations PATHWorks Participants

As most of you know the PATHWorks program is designed to support participant goals, identify resources, and provide encouragement that empowers clients. PATHWorks participants continue to prove that with a good plan, persistence and hard work their goals become reality.


We love to share the success of our participants. However, for this issue selecting just one story didn't seem fair, so we chose to share them all. 


Teresa T. and her mother Carol S. purchased their first home in June! Teresa joined the PATHWorks program last winter. Teresa was approved for a USDA loan and is utilizing her voucher to help her pay a portion of her mortgage. Congratulations on your home purchase Teresa!

Sarah H. now has full-time employment, met her goals, and graduated PATHWorks. She is in the process of purchasing a home using the escrow savings she earned and the VIDA savings for the down payment. Way to go Sarah!

Amanda A. graduated the PATHWorks program, released her voucher, received  a promotion at work, moved to Arizona and bought a home.  A single mom of three who has never lived outside of Central Oregon, Amanda packed up her family and headed into her new life. Truly a courageous way of pushing beyond your comfort zone Amanda.

Michael S. and Sara J. graduated the PATHWorks program. Both increased their income and graduated from PATHWorks based on their increased income. They received escrow at graduation and are also participating in the VIDA homeownership program. Congratulations for increasing your income and working towards financial self-sufficiency Michael and Sara!

Marie G. graduated from Oregon State University-Cascades with her Bachelor of Science Degree in General Science. Marie enrolled in the VIDA program last summer and has been saving to pay for her education. She is continuing to save as she pursues her Master's of Teaching Degree. What a huge accomplishment! 

Rosa M. graduated Central Oregon Community College with her Associate's Degree and Business Administration Certificate. She recently found full-time employment utilizing her degree. Way to go Rosa!

These are just a few of the many examples of the goals our participants set and achieve. Congratulations to all of our PATHWorks participants who have taken the first step by joining the program and who continue to work hard to accomplish their goals. 

The PATHWorks program is available to all Housing Choice Voucher Holders, so what are you waiting for? Contact us for more information on how to join at 541-323-7410.  
EMPLOYMENT
Top 10 Jobs With an Associate's Degree

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. Many careers require education and experience beyond a high school diploma. Going to college and working towards an associate's, bachelor's (BA/BS typically 3-7 years), master's (BA/BS + 2 years), doctorate degree (PHD, BA/BS + 4 years) isn't for everyone though. An associate's degree is attainable in 2 years and allows an individual to enter a career field and start working much sooner. According to the latest available data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the 10 best high-paying jobs that are also seeing a lot of growth that require an associates degree.

You can read the full article here.  




1) Radiation Therapist

Median pay: $80,160

Job growth through 2024: 14%

2) Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Median pay: $69,650
Job growth through 2024: 26.4%

3) Occupational Therapy Assistant

Median pay: $59,010
Job growth through 2024: 42.7%

4) Dental Hygienist

Median pay: $72,910
Job growth through 2024: 18.6%

5) Web Developer

Median pay: $66,130
Job growth through 2024: 26.6%

6) Physical Therapist Assistant

Median pay: $56,610
Job growth through 2024: 40.6%

7) Cardiovascular Technologist or Technician

Median pay: $55,570
Job growth through 2024: 22.2%

8) Respiratory Therapist

Median pay: $58,670
Job growth through 2024: 12.3%

9) Geological and Petroleum Technician

Median pay: $56,470
Job growth through 2024: 11.8%

10) Radiologic Technologist

Median pay: $57,470
Job growth through 2024: 8.7%


                       FINANCES                                      ASSET BUILDING
Your Credit Score May Have Improved

As of July 1st, 2017, about 12 million people may have had an increase in their credit score. The three major credit reporting companies, Transunion, Equifax, and Experian are enforcing stricter rules on the public records they collect including civil judgments and tax liens. These credit  reporting agencies will remove information that does not meet new minimum standards for identifying the consumer.  Each citation must now include the subject's name, address, and either their Social Security number or their date of birth. Nearly all the civil judgments and half of the tax lien records in the nation do not meet the new standards. If the records do not have this information included, it will be eliminated from consumer credit reports. 

In addition to the likelihood of credit scores improving because of the new standards, medical debt that's less than six months old will not be reported as of September 1st. This will also help increase many consumer's credit scores.

The typical credit score may increase by 20 to 40 points according to Fair Isaac's Analysis. F air Isaac and Company is a data analytics company focused on credit scoring services more commonly known as FICO. FICO Scores range from 300-850. Higher is better with lenders generally preferring credit scores of 640 and above.

You can view your credit report for free at annualcreditreport.com. This  is the official site to get your free annual credit reports, one from each of the three major credit bureaus, once a year. Your credit report will show your credit history and you can see if you have a civil judgment or a tax lien on your record. 

Take the first step and check your credit report today. Then make a plan of action to move forward and make progress to improve your credit.
8 Things to Give up if you Want to buy a home

Homeownership is a tremendous asset. It provides a route to economic stability, provides opportunities to build wealth, and provides owners and their families a place to live. Becoming a homeowner is expensive and takes time to prepare for. Read the list below for 8 Things to Give up if You Want to Buy Your First Home.

1) Procrastination - Don't wait. Start saving today.

2) Big ticket items - Wait to go on that vacation or to buy a new car until after you purchase your home and can save and budget for it.

3) Eating out/ordering food - Prepare meals at home to save money.

4) Excessive bar tabs - Reduce or eliminate your alcohol intake.

5) Cable - Think about switching to a cheaper TV viewing service such as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Now.

6) Keeping up with the Joneses - Live within your means and your budget.

7) Underused subscriptions - Cancel subscriptions that you don't use or look for less expensive options to replace them.

8) Lifestyle Inflation - Again, live within your means and your budget.

If your goal is homeownership, make a plan to achieve that goal. Take the action plan steps and start today. Making the changes listed above are great steps that can help move you towards homeownership. Homeownership is possible. If it is what you want and you are motivated to do it. You will do what it takes and success will be yours! 
COMMUNITY EVENTS         
2017 Central Oregon Great Giveaway

Bend: August 19, 2017  |  Redmond: August 26, 2017

The Central Oregon Great Giveaway is a community service effort to collect usable items of clothing, housewares, bedding and other goods to give and share with those in need. Everyone is welcome! Items are collected from the community and given away to anyone who needs them for FREE!!! Click on the logo above to view the flier.

Bend

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: 2555 NW Shevlin Park Road

TO GIVE (DONATIONS): August 17 & 18: 12 p.m. -8 p.m.
TO GET (THE EVENT): Saturday, August 19: 8 a.m.-noon


Redmond

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: 450 SW Rimrock Drive

TO GIVE (DONATIONS): August 23, 24 & 25: 1 p.m.-7 p.m.

TO GET (THE EVENT): August 26: 9 a.m.-noon


Find out more information from their website or Facebook

2017 Eclipse

Monday, August 21st, 2017, is the Solar Eclipse! This is when the moon will pass in front of the sun, casting its shadow across all of North America. This will be the first total solar eclipse visible in the contiguous United States in 38 years. Central Oregon is one of the best locations to view the eclipse with Madras, Redmond, Sisters, and Prineville being in the "path of totality" starting at about 10:19 a.m. and lasting approximately two minutes.

With this amazing natural phenomenon, comes an influx of visitors to our area . Read the list of tips and watch the video below for more information on how to prepare for the Eclipse.

HOUSING WORKS UPDATES

                 DEVELOPMENT                                  HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER
Development Updates

Grand Opening of Cook Crossing in Redmond

On Thursday, August 3rd at 10 am, Housing Works staff will gather with partners, sponsors, government representatives and community members to celebrate the grand opening of Cook Crossing in Redmond. Cook Crossing will provide 48 affordable apartments to low-income seniors (55+). Cook Crossing will also be home to the new Redmond Mosaic Medical Clinic on the ground floor.


Cook Crossing boasts amazing views of Central Oregon from the residential floors. The ground floor consists of a separate residential lobby with an elevator, community office, spacious community room for events, and flex space for use by service providers.


Cook Crossing is named for Cyndy Cook who served as Housing Works’ Executive Director for 30 years before her retirement in 2013. It was Cyndy’s passion and dedication to providing housing to those experiencing low-income and hard to house populations that inspired the naming of Cook Crossing in her honor.


Cook Crossing will be managed by EPIC Property Management LLC. The community will offer important resident services from service providers including Mosaic Medical, Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), Hospice of Redmond, Redmond School District, OSU Extension Services, Ella Snapp Mobile Hair and Nail Services, and Cascade East Transit. The property will also have a partnership with Lynch Elementary School and Obsidian Middle School through a a program called Crossing Connections which will allow residents to connect with youth through a number of interactive programs. Cook Crossing will offer a great place for seniors to age in place in a supportive and service-rich environment. 


Groundbreaking for Ochoco School Crossing in Prineville

On Tuesday, August 15th at 10 am, Housing Works will gather with development partners and local government officials to celebrate the beginning of the transformation of the former Ochoco Grade School into 29 affordable apartments. Many current residents of Prineville walked the halls and sat in the classrooms of this historic building during the 69 years that the school operated. In addition to much-needed affordable housing for individuals and families, Ochoco School Crossing will provide a space for a community recreation center in the former school gym to be managed by Crook County Parks and Recreation and a Head Start facility in the former school cafeteria to be managed by NeighborImpact. Other service providers include Innovation Station, Early Learning Hub of Central Oregon, Saving Grace, Veterans Affairs and DHS.


Both celebrations will be open to the public. Questions regarding either event can be directed to Julie Benson at 541-323-2975.


For updated information on Housing Works Developments, please check out our website here.

Get to Know Your Housing Choice Voucher Team

Many of you know and communicate with Housing Works Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) team by phone, email, mail, or fax. These ladies are not only proficient at what they do, they also enjoy a busy life when they're not at work. Here's a bit about our team.

Lesly Gonzalez- Housing Choice Voucher Program Manager: " I’ve lived in Oregon for about 15 years and have been with Housing Works for almost 11 years. There isn’t a season I don’t enjoy in Oregon. In the winter, my husband and I enjoy snowboarding at Mt. Bachelor and Hoodoo. Fall, to me, is all about the bright colors. In the spring, I finally get to work on my garden. And in the Summer, we love floating the Deschutes River on the weekends or simply relaxing in our backyard. We have two dogs that keep us very busy and we enjoy every second."

Christi Solheim- Housing/Portability Specialist: "I am a true Central Oregonian as I was born and raised here. I have been married 18 years and have 2 kids. My boys are very active in Redmond Little League in the spring, play football during the fall and basketball in the winter. During summer we enjoy spending time as a family, camping, boating, and snowmobiling in the winter. Outside of work, life is all about my kids and family."

Stephanie Westendorf- Housing Specialist: "For the last 18 years, I have lived in Central Oregon and I am married with two kids. Prior to living here, I moved from Florida. I enjoy watching my kids compete in football, basketball, and volleyball. When the weather is nice, my family and I enjoy outdoor activities; hiking, boating, camping, and working in our yard to name a few. In our office, I am known as the "Crazy Cat Lady"  as I am a foster mom for The BrightSide Animal Center. I have adopted and now have 7 cats of my own. It is not just cats I love, but all animals as we also have 3 dogs. My family and fur kids keep me busy."

Emily Loza- Housing Quality Standards Inspector: "I started working at Housing Works in May of 2014. I can't see myself working anywhere else now. I enjoy interacting with our clients during their inspections and most of them still remember me from when I started and tell me that they look forward to seeing me when they get their inspection notice. I was born in California but have been an Oregonian since I was about 9 yrs. old. I am a homebody and love the small town feel of Redmond. I enjoy hiking Smith Rock in the summer with friends and being out on the boat for long hours with my family. I love volunteering as a foster parent for kittens at The BrightSide Animal Center. I love what Housing Works does within our community and find myself very blessed to work here with such an amazing group of people." 

Sandy Goldapp- Intake Specialist: " I have worked for Housing Works for almost 3 years. I began my career here as the Front Desk Receptionist. Then I transitioned into my current role as the Intake Specialist and am the first person you will see when you enter our office. In addition to overall general office support, I am also responsible for screening new applicants to determine eligibility for the Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance program. When I am not working here, I work part-time as an EMT worker." 

Pam Grein- Intel Fellow, Voucher Program: " I moved to Central Oregon in 2016 from the Portland area to live closer to family and to enjoy the beautiful outdoor life of Central Oregon!  I enjoy exploring and participating in most of the high desert outdoor activities which include hiking, snowshoeing, kayaking, golfing and the many small town concerts, festivals and art and quilt shows of the beautiful high desert communities."

The housing staff is extremely dedicated to serving you and ensuring your participation in the HCV program is successful. Please remember to contact your Housing Specialist with any household changes or questions you may have.
Pictured above left to right: Stephanie, Christi, Pam, Sandy, Emily, and Lesly.
  RESOURCES