PATHWorks Newsletter: MARCH 2018
Success Stories - Employment - Finances - Asset Building - Community Events - Housing Works Updates - Resources
Congratulations on Graduating From PATHWorks Melanie!

Melanie B. joined the Housing Choice Voucher program in July 2011 after she and her family moved to Central Oregon. Melanie had worked in the medical field prior to moving to the area, but as many remember, the job market in 2011 was really tough and Melanie struggled to find employment. Melanie pushed forward and in September of 2014 she joined the PATHWorks program.

Melanie made a lot of progress as a PATHWorks participant. She worked on her credit, raised her family of 4 children, paid off her student loans and was a long-term volunteer at St. Charles. Her husband Lon worked part-time as a Security Guard and with Goodwill. Lon then found full-time employment at Walmart in Redmond. With increased household earned income, the family started earning escrow savings in July of 2015.

Shortly after Lon started working full-time, Melanie was hired at Walmart as well. Melanie and Lon both proved their value as reliable and hardworking members of the Walmart team. Melanie has been testing for a management position and has increased her income. Together their combined earned income increase automatically graduated them from the PATHWorks program in December of 2017.

Congratulations Melanie and Lon. Keep up the great work and continue to make progress to achieve all the goals you set out for yourselves and your family. There is no limit on your potential with your motivation to continue to achieve successful results.
Pathways to Employment

There are more pathways to employment than just applying for jobs where there are help wanted ads. In previous newsletters, we have discussed a variety of options for people to find employment. Most recently, in January, we talked about Trade Schools and Apprenticeship Programs. A list of the top 10 careers with an Associate's Degree was provided in the August 2017 newsletter. Last June, there was an article that described personality tests and how taking them can help lead to a good career fit- "Personality tests provide some insight into who you are, how you act, what your potential is, and where your ambition might take you." And in February last year, information was provided about degree and certificate programs available through Central Oregon Community College.
As you can see, there is more than one path to employment. You can choose to focus on education first, decide to take specialized training, or to participate in on-the-job training programs. You can even go straight into a career field of your choice.

The job market is very strong right now. If you are not working, take the next step by taking action. Identify why you are not working and what your barriers are. If you need assistance identifying or overcoming any barriers and would benefit from meeting with a mentor or an employment specialist, click here for a list of employment agencies in our area. There are many employment opportunities currently available in Central Oregon, so don't miss out. Take action today!
Free Tax Help

File your 2017 state and federal taxes for free! If you would like to meet in-person with an IRS-Certified volunteer, check out the Free AARP/TaxAid Tax Locations for more information. You can visit a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program where trained IRS volunteers prepare and file your taxes for free. Call (800) 906-9887 for more information. 

If you want to file your taxes on your own for free, there are several websites available online.  Free File, a program for taxpayers who earn $66,000 or less. Taxpayers who earned more than $66,000 and are comfortable preparing their own returns, can use Free File Fillable Forms. Other free websites to file taxes are; and You can also file your taxes online through TurboTax at no cost if:

  • You qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit; or
  • Your household made $33,000 or less last year.

Keep in mind, if you are tempted to take out a refund advance or a refund anticipation loan by getting your refund sooner, be very careful. The fees associated with those tax products can cost you hundreds of dollars. Your refund is your money -- don't give it away. File your taxes as early as you can and ALL of your return will be in your hands before you know it.
Retirement Savings

If your employer does not have a retirement program, you can save on your own through OregonSaves . Workers in Oregon have a new and easy way to save for retirement at work by saving through payroll deductions. These retirement savings will always remain your money and you have total control over your account.

OregonSaves won’t compete with existing company retirement plans, such as 401(k)s and it is not a pension plan or connected in any way to the Oregon Public Employee Retirement Fund (PERS).

Watch a quick video below for more information on how Oregon Saves works.
SOLVE IT for Earth Day- April 21st

On Saturday, April 21, 2018 thousands of volunteers will come together to care for Oregon during our state's largest Earth Day event, SOLVE IT for Earth Day, presented by Portland General Electric.

Oregon’s coast and natural areas continue to face threats from diminishing wildlife habitat, invasive plants, and litter, which flows downstream to rivers and out to the ocean.

You can join in the effort to take care of our home by volunteering at a local project. SOLVE projects are community driven and focus on cleaning up and restoring natural areas and neighborhoods with hands-on work.


To register and view a list of project sites, visit Solve It or call 1-800-333-7658.

For questions or to lead a project, call Kaleen Boyle at 503-844-9571 ext 332, or email her at
Development Updates

On August 15th, 2017, over 50 partners, sponsors, government officials and Prineville residents joined Housing Works to celebrate the beginning of construction tranforming the former Ochoco Grade School into Ochoco School Crossing – an affordable community of 29 apartments for low-income households in Prineville. 

Since the ribbon cutting ceremony last summer, a lot of progress has been made in changing this school from what it was to what it will be. Classrooms are being framed into apartments. New windows are being installed throughout the building and electrical and plumbing infrastructure is being installed for the new affordable apartments.

Construction completion has been pushed out to November of 2018. Applications for lease-up will be accepted 3 months prior to completion through EPIC Property Management. We will be sure to let you know in this newsletter as soon as we have the dates for the application period. You can also check out for information regarding open waitlists for all of our affordable properties. 
2018 Waiting List Results

Housing Works received a total of 2,956 online applications for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program Waiting List from January 8–12, 2018. Approximately 1,900 of those applications were received from local residents living in Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson Counties.

Current Applicants

  • To check your position on the waiting list, please visit:

  • If your address, phone number, income and/or household composition change, please update your information by following the link above.
  • If you are selected off the waiting list for the HCV program, Housing Works will contact you directly.

Technical Assistance

  • The email address used at registration is your login. You must have a valid email address in order to access your application.
  • If you forgot your password, please select the “Forgot Password” option and follow the instructions.
  • Keep your login and password somewhere safe and secure.

If you need additional assistance, call Housing Works at 541-923-1018.

The 2018 HCV Waiting List will remain active until December 31, 2018. At that time, all remaining 2018 applications will be removed from the waiting list. If your application was not selected, you will need to reapply next year. The 2019 HCV Waiting List will be open from January 14-18, 2019.

We would like to thank all our community partners for making the 2018 Waiting List opening week a success. Without all your hard work, we would not be able to serve our communities. Thank you.
Tutor Home Available- Rent a Home in Prineville for Only $900/Month.

Housing Works' Tutor Home Program, our "homeowner in training" program, provides residents the opportunity to lease a home for up to two years while they take steps to prepare for the purchase of their own home.
How It Works:
  1. You receive one-on-one counseling about the home buying process.
  2. We review your credit report and suggest steps to improve your credit.
  3. We help you develop a spending plan and make deliberate decisions about where you want your money to go.
  4. You open a matched savings account (VIDA).
  5. When you are ready to buy your own home, you are eligible to apply for a grant to help with the closing costs.
  6. We support you through the home loan and closing processes.
Are You Eligible?
  • Available to those earning 80% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI)
  • Must reside or work in Deschutes, Crook or Jefferson County
  • Tenants must demonstrate by the end of the lease that a) their income will be sufficient to support a mortgage, and b) they will be in a position to obtain mortgage financing
  • Participants must comply with a Tutor Home Lease Agreement, pass home inspections, and complete program requirements

For more information, please contact Housing Works' Family Self-Sufficiency Program Manager, Andy Hall, at (541) 323-7413 or email him at .