PATHWorks Newsletter: September 2018
Success Story - Employment - Finances - Asset Building - Community Events - Housing Works Updates - Resources
SUCCESS STORY
Congratulations Andrea B.!

Andrea joined the PATHWorks program in June of 2014, shortly after receiving her Housing Choice Voucher, with the goal of preparing for homeownership. At that time, Andrea was working part-time at BestCare Treatment Center and working towards earning an Associate of Arts degree. She graduated COCC soon after joining the PATHWorks program, earning her Associates degree in Addiction Studies and Human Services. In 2015, Andrea passed her Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor I (CADC-I) test. With her degree, certification and additional work experience in the addiction recovery field behind her, Andrea became a full-time Detox Clinical Services Coordinator for BestCare in 2016.

Not only does Andrea’s career allow her to help others, she also worked on her own health. Andrea lost an amazing 125 lbs. along the way on what she calls her weight-loss journey. A truly remarkable turnaround from overcoming her own addiction issues to growing into the independent and self-confident women she is today.

With her full-time employment, Andrea opened a VIDA 3 to 1 matched savings program to help her save for her goal of homeownership. She earned escrow savings while on the PATHWorks program due to her increased earned income and graduated the program in April, 2018. Andrea recently purchased a piece of property and has her sights set on continuing to build a bright future for herself. She released her Housing Choice Voucher upon graduation and is a perfect example of what it takes to make change in your life: a good plan, hard work, persistence and a belief in yourself. 

Congratulations Andrea and thank you for setting such a great example!
EMPLOYMENT
Self-Sufficiency

How much money do you need to be financially self-sufficient? Being financially self-sufficient means earning enough income to cover regular expenses, having emergency savings set aside, and not owing a significant amount of debt. Each household will need a different amount based on their expenses, spending habits, and personal financial goals. This Living Wage Calculator can help you estimate the cost of living in your community or region based on typical expenses.

Analyze your current financial situation to calculate how much money you need to earn each month to be financially self-sufficient. If you do not currently have the amount you need, decide what changes you need to make to be able to achieve that goal. Do you need to cut expenses, earn more money or both? Start with a monthly budget where you can track and monitor your income, spending, and expenses. Calculate what you need for monthly living expenses, savings, and debt repayment.

If you want to earn more money, can you do that where you currently work? If getting a raise or working more hours will help you accomplish this goal, have a conversation with your supervisor. If you need to change careers to make more money, check out our last newsletter in July that talks about mynextmove.org. This site provides information about tasks, skills, and salary ranges for different careers. In addition, it enables users to explore occupations and find related information, including job openings, job outlook, apprenticeships, and other related education and training programs for over 900 occupations. Changing careers might be the path for you to increase your income and become financially self-sufficient.

To become financially independent, create a plan that builds your net worth. Take action today to make a plan to become financially self-sufficient and work toward securing your financial future.
FINANCES
Evaluate Your Budget

Take control of your budget. Know where your money is coming and going. Having and following a written budget is the most important tool in attaining your financial goals. A budget is a written account of all income and expenses for a household. A budget gives you a detailed picture of your income and expenses. It shows you how much you can spend and how much you could save. Once you have your written budget, the next step is to evaluate your budget. Read the steps below about how to create a budget.

1st: Track your income and spending for at least one month. Include your monthly bills (electricity, phone, rent/mortgage) and all other costs (gas, groceries, entertainment). Account for every dollar you spend and don't forget to record cash purchases too!

2nd: Calculate how much you need for each expense category.

3rd: Create your monthly budget and write it down. Here is an example of a budget template you can use.

4th: Evaluate your budget. Review your budget and see what areas you would like to change. Are you spending more than what you have allocated in each category? Are there bills or spending in areas that you want to and can decrease or eliminate? Is there a cheaper service provider that you can research and switch to? Review this worksheet on Strategies for Cutting Expenses to learn more about ways you can save.

Evaluating your budget is important to making sure your budget meets your current financial goals. Your needs and goals will change over time and so you should evaluate and reevaluate your budget as needed, at least monthly and overall annually. Adjust it as necessary to achieve the success you want.
ASSET BUILDING
Savings as an Asset

Save money to increase your assets. Assets are things that you own that have monetary value and can help you build financial security.

If you want to build your financial future and are not sure where to begin, a good place to start is to pay yourself first. Get into the habit of making reoccurring monthly savings deposits. Even making a small savings deposit every time you get paid will help you develop the habit of saving. A good rule of thumb is to save between 10-20% of your income.

Start your savings plan by having a certain goal in mind. Know how much money you want to save and how long you have to save that money. For example, if you want to save $1,200 in a year and you have 12 months to save, then you would need to save $100 per month.

$1,200 ÷ 12 = $100

Once you know how much money you want to save and how long you have to save for, then you can decide how you are going to make that happen. Use this Savings Plan tool to help you save money.

Some of your assets (such as a savings account) may affect your benefits. Learn about asset limits with different public benefits here

The important thing is to get started. If you wait, it only takes longer. Start saving now, even if it is a small amount. Build your savings and increase your assets.
COMMUNITY EVENTS
Changes to SNAP Benefits in Deschutes County

Effective January 1, 2019, rules are changing for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Deschutes County. SNAP benefits will be limited to 3 months in a 3-year period for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) who are not working, participating in, and complying with the requirements of a work program for 20 hours or more each week or a workfare program. To receive SNAP benefits beyond 3 months, ABAWDs must be working or participating in a work-related activity at least 80 hours a month.

If you are receiving SNAP benefits, please consider the following questions:
1) Are you able to work?
2) Are you between the ages of 18-50 years old?
3) Is everyone on your SNAP case at least 18 years old?
4) Do you live in Deschutes county?

If you answered yes to all of the questions above, contact your local DHS office.

Oregon Department of Human Services has mailed letters to SNAP participants who are ABAWDs. If you have further questions, please contact your local DHS Self-Sufficiency Program Office. You can also contact 211. Please see the fliers below for more information.
HOUSING WORKS UPDATES
Development:
Affordable Housing in Sisters

Housing Works is bringing more affordable housing to Sisters! Ponderosa Heights Apartments (formerly known as Village Meadows) broke ground in March and 48 apartments are under construction. Currently, framing, roofing and windows are being installed and construction is expected to be completed by January of 2019. Preleasing for the apartments will begin approximately three months prior to completion through EPIC Property Management. Watch the New Rental Communities page on Housing Works’ website for more information:

Ponderosa Heights Apartments will offer 32 one-bedroom flats, 8 two-bedroom townhomes and 8 three-bedroom townhomes for households at or below 60% area median income (AMI). The homes will come nicely equipped with modern features including dishwashers and washer/dryer sets. A community room, leasing office and playground will be available for tenants’ use.

As Sisters has grown, it has been increasingly difficult for lower income workers in the community to find affordable homes. Ponderosa Heights Apartments will provide high quality homes to 48 low-income households at affordable rents. The apartments are being built on north Brooks Camp Road behind Ray’s Shopping Center close to schools, stores, services, employment opportunities and transportation. 
HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER
  RESOURCES