Fostering self-reliant families and healthy, sustainable communities

September 2018

In this issue: 


Homeownership has been a part of the American Dream for nearly 100 years. At its best, a home can represent stability, safety, and a long-term financial asset. But for many, this asset can quickly become a burden on a family's health and finances. That's where Isles comes in - we help families make smart decisions by providing information, tools, and guidance.
Many families come to Isles wanting to buy their first home but often need to repair their finances or save money before they are ready. Others come to us struggling with their mortgage due to family health emergencies, job loss, or burdensome payments.
Isles helps both first-time homebuyers and foreclosure customers create realistic budgets, access financial counseling, and obtain financial products to help them get a handle on their finances. From there, our housing counselors can work to modify a mortgage or help first-timers navigate the confusing world of home buying.
While providing these services, Isles talks to those concerned about the safety of their homes, due to lead paint or other indoor health conditions. By connecting them with our healthy homes work to test and remove indoor health hazards, Isles helps prevent families from falling through the cracks. When we make a home safe, healthy, and financially stable, that's when we meet our mission "to foster self-reliant families and healthy, sustainable communities."
In community,
Peter Rose         
The Perez Family came to Isles after hearing about our mortgage assistance service from a coworker. After 11 years in his home, Mr. Perez was behind on his mortgage because his wife was not able to work since the birth of their twin boys. Because he had purchased the home with a friend, he was not qualified for the HMFA program that assists with missed mortgage payment due to job loss or medical issues. Mr. Perez didn't know what his options were. 

Isles housing counselor, Elena Hung-Shum knew what to do. She worked to remove his friend from the deed and off the mortgage. After a few trial payments, Elena was able to negotiate with the bank to modify the mortgage and get him back in good standing. 

But the story doesn't end there. After getting his home out of foreclosure, Elena learned that one of his twins had an elevated lead level. She referred him to our lead testing and hazard control service. Isles discovered deteriorating lead paint in multiple windows and, within a few weeks, completed lead safe repairs. Since the remediation, the child's lead levels have come down.

Because of this work, several of Mr. Perez's coworkers have come to Isles as new customers. Some are working on buying their first home, improving their credit, or obtaining mortgage assistance. By offering comprehensive housing services, we're growing our impact in important ways.
Highlights events
The Long Way Home
"In Trenton, and even in Ewing, and many other townships and cities across the state, the foreclosure crisis is alive and well... According to Hung-Shum [Isles' housing counselor] the crisis in New Jersey traps homeowners like Julius- and more vulnerable ones like seniors no longer able to work - in a cycle of debt." Read about Julius' story and what Isles is doing to help in this article.
Trenton Then and Now
Ever walk down a street in Trenton and wonder what it looked like a century ago? Then & Now is an ongoing photo-history project that retakes a photograph from the same perspective as the original. It focuses on Downtown Trenton's historic businesses and often overlooked beautiful architecture. Every Friday, we release a new location.
Tickets on Sale Now! fallfest

It's not your "run of the mill" fundraiser!
Join us November 3rd at 5:30pm for an evening of local food, drink, art, and music as Isles celebrates the second annual Fall Fest fundraiser at Mill One. 

For tickets and a list of who is coming, visit Food, drink, and dessert vendors as well as artists and musicians are being added every week. F rom Caribbean to Vegetarian to alcohol-infused cupcakes, we promise you won't be disappointed.