Posts Tagged ‘Success Stories’

November 9, 2015 · by pcriadmin · Featured, PCRI

Genté, DJ and Chloé Shaw became first-time and first-generation homeowners as they moved into their new home in Northeast Portland in October. Moving from Gresham where rent was affordable, the Shaws were particularly excited to be able to own and raise their children in a closer-in neighborhood.

Shaw Family

Genté and Chloé Shaw talk about saving for their first home.

“To be owning a home, to be investing in our own personal asset and someday pass on to our daughter,” Genté said, “it’s a great feeling!”

The Shaws utilized savings they accrued through the PCRI’s matched-saving IDA program to help with their down payment and were supported through the entire process by Liz and Andrea, PCRI’s IDA and Homeownership staff.

It wasn’t always easy, Genté said, but she challenged others to make small changes to begin to achieve future goals. “I just encourage anyone else out there, if you’re able to do so [begin saving], do it,” she said. “Start where you are and be consistent.”

A week before closing on their new home, Genté and Chloé sat down with IDA Specialist Liz Olson to share their story for the Oregon IDA Initiative:

Achieving stability. Becoming self-sufficient. Successfully purchasing their first home. Using the tools PCRI provides, residents and clients achieve all types of success. We’re always eager to highlight the ways they’ve succeeded and congratulate the Shaw family on their new home!

April 8, 2011 · by pcriadmin · PCRI

Part of PCRI’s vision is to provide services that help our residents gain the tools needed to become stable, self-sufficient and eventually build wealth.  While we have residents in every area of the continuum between stability and wealth building, the ultimate wealth-building goal of our residents is often to buy their own home, building equity and wealth that can be passed on to younger generations.

Residents who become first-time homebuyers provide some of the success stories that exemplify PCRI’s vision of self-sufficiency and wealth building.  The LaRose family is one of those success stories.

Before their recent home purchase, the LaRoses lived in a PCRI rental home for two years.  Understandably, they are excited to be homeowners.   Mr. LaRose (pictured below) summed it up this way:  “I am no longer paying someone’s mortgage with my rent payments.  Now I am paying my own mortgage and adding value to my own net worth.”

PCRI’s Homeownership Program helped the LaRoses navigate the sometimes complicated path to ownership, providing direction, one-on-one consultation and support.

One facet of that support was particularly meaningful for Mr. LaRose.

“Don’t let past mistakes with your credit deter you,” he said.  “Sit down with a homeownership counselor and determine where you are at and where you need to be.”

PCRI’s free Homeownership Program, financial education workshops and culturally-specific individual counseling opportunities are available to all PCRI residents.  More information is available on in the Services area of our website or by calling our office.

May 14, 2010 · by pcriadmin · PCRI

Betty Mason always dreamed big.  As a longtime renter and PCRI resident in northeast Portland, Betty (pictured below in front of her home) took the first step in 2007 toward making her dream of homeownership come true.  Today, she owns the single-level home of her dreams: close to parks with lots of windows and a big porch like she always wanted.

PCRI’s support for first-time homebuyers like Betty includes education and hands-on guidance as well as partnerships such as the Individual Development Account (IDA) program from VIDA Oregon.  VIDA’s matched-savings IDA, helped accelerate Betty’s down payment savings and gave Betty the “ability and hope to be a first time homebuyer.”

Not sure where to begin, Betty trusted PCRI’s expertise and personal approach to support her in buying her first home.  She also learned to trust herself.  Like many first-time homebuyers, Betty often wondered “what am I doing?”

“For me, it was all faith,” Betty explains.  “The opportunity was there and I had all this information and classes and people guiding me.  I had to put it into action.  I was stepping out on faith.”

Feeling excited, overwhelmed, scared, doubtful and elated, Betty ran the gamut of emotions that come with buying a first home.  But PCRI’s Homeownership Program had her back the whole way.

“I can’t imagine buying a house without that support,” she beamed, adding that she was “amazed at how warm people were and how they really cared about you to help you accomplish your goal.”

At closing, her team of support including PCRI Homeownership Program Manager Charles Funches (pictured below on left) and real estate agent Shelly Fullwiley (pictured below, third from left) joined her.

“They changed my perspective to prepare for homeownership,” Betty remarked.

PCRI’s individualized approach and homeownership support don’t end when a new homeowner receives her keys.  PCRI’s programs and resources remain available and homebuyers are encouraged to participate in post-purchase education programs.

Referring to her homeownership refererence guide from PCRI, Betty feels confident that she has the tools and support to maintain her home.

“I’m stronger than I thought I was,” Betty reflects.  She is also quick to express appreciation for PCRI’s expertise, patience, kindness and desire to empower the community.

“We all need each other to help each other,” she says.  “[PCRI] helps someone help themselves and better their lives.”

Betty is one of 12 families PCRI helped become first-time homeowners in 2009.  PCRI gives special thanks to VIDA of Oregon for their support as well as helping to share Betty’s story (much of which as been duplicated here).

March 10, 2010 · by pcriadmin · PCRI

So you’ve checked out descriptions of PCRI’s Programs elsewhere on our website, but you’re hungry for a little more information.  Well, you’ve come to the right place!  Our Programs Department has been feverishly working on new services for our residents–as well as make our current programs even better.  Here are some highlights of our recent Programs successes:

HOMEOWNERSHIP

Our Homeownership Initiative (launched in 2004) aims to transform PCRI residents from renters to first time homeowners.  The comprehensive program includes intake and assessment, credit repair, one-on-one counseling, financial fitness, HUD-certified homebuyer education, monthly homebuyer club meetings, and post-purchase assistance.  It’s exactly this type of program that goes beyond helping homeowners, says the New York Times:  “These alliances have sidestepped the plague of foreclosure.”

Since 2007, PCRI has been working with the African American Alliance for Homeownership and Hacienda Community Development Corporation, with whom PCRI forms the Minority Homebuyers Assistance Collaborative (MHAC). Through the MHAC collaborative, PCRI residents have access to culturally-specific HUD-certified homebuyer education classes and additional funds to assist with down payment and closing costs.

We’re excited about 2009’s growth for our homeownership program and the successes of the residents who are enrolled:

  • 10 PCRI families purchased homes (read one resident’s story here)
  • 54 families participated in our complete homebuyer counseling program
  • 17 families ended the year mortgage-ready … and looking for homes
  • 10 special-topic homebuyer education classes were held
  • PCRI’s post-purchase education initiative, “Life After Renting,” was implemented
  • $178,000 in down-payment assistance was distributed to new homebuyers

FINANCIAL LITERACY

As an integral part of our homeownership initiative, PCRI’s financial literacy program is designed to prepare individuals and families to better manage their finances and achieve family goals such as lowering debt and improving credit scores.  Residents in this program are provided with multiple choices of sound and proven financial education curricula including: Money Smart, Dollar Works 2, and Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.

  • Developed community partnerships with OSU Extension Services to provide the Dollar Works 2 program
  • Worked with Banking on our Future to provide financial fitness to youth at the Maya Angelou Community Center
  • Had 25 individuals graduate from our financial fitness programs.  All residents who participated have developed plans to reduce debt–and have experienced notable increases in their credit scores

INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT ACCOUNTS

IDAs are matched savings programs that allow qualified individuals to set savings goals and make monthly deposits into a designated account. Each dollar deposited is matched 3:1. PCRI has been involved in the IDA matched savings program since 2007.  In 2008, we expanded our community partnership with CASA of Oregon allowing us to provide IDA’s directly through PCRI. Residents have the ability to save in 3 major areas: homeownership, higher education, and home repairs.  The program is so popular, we currently have a waiting list of  residents wanting to take advantage of it.  The program is successful, too.  In 2009, PCRI:

  • Received $70,000 in IDA funding for homeownership, education, and home repair
  • Awarded 11 IDAs to residents utilizing every cent of our allotted funds
  • Had 3 PCRI residents use funds from their homeownership IDAs towards  purchase of their first home

THRIVING FAMILIES

Here’s our newest and most innovative approach to helping PCRI residents achieve their family goals.  The Thriving Families program is the all-encompassing package that helps move residents from family stability to self sufficiency and begin the process of creating wealth.  It incorporates all the programs and services PCRI currently offers, providing an effective vehicle to help families identify their needs and aspirations and put them into a strategic plan framework. Through this framework, each family member age six and older is able to create individual and family goals to be achieved. Monetary and other incentives are offered to participants who meet and exceed agreed upon milestones. These awards can assist families to overcome barriers they currently face. 2009 was an exciting year for the program as staff finalized details and began enrolling families.  In 2009, we:

  • Received funding to begin the thriving families pilot program
  • Signed up 7 families who are actively participating in the program
  • Set a goal of tripling the number of families enrolled in the program by the end of 2010

Next up: a look at the resources available at PCRI’s community centers, where we put these programs into action.

March 10, 2010 · by pcriadmin · PCRI

So you’ve checked out descriptions of PCRI’s Programs elsewhere on our website, but you’re hungry for a little more information.  Well, you’ve come to the right place!  Our Programs Department has been feverishly working on new services for our residents–as well as make our current programs even better.  Here are some highlights of our recent Programs successes:

HOMEOWNERSHIP

Our Homeownership Initiative (launched in 2004) aims to transform PCRI residents from renters to first time homeowners.  The comprehensive program includes intake and assessment, credit repair, one-on-one counseling, financial fitness, HUD-certified homebuyer education, monthly homebuyer club meetings, and post-purchase assistance.  It’s exactly this type of program that goes beyond helping homeowners, says the New York Times:  “These alliances have sidestepped the plague of foreclosure.”

Since 2007, PCRI has been working with the African American Alliance for Homeownership and Hacienda Community Development Corporation, with whom PCRI forms the Minority Homebuyers Assistance Collaborative (MHAC). Through the MHAC collaborative, PCRI residents have access to culturally-specific HUD-certified homebuyer education classes and additional funds to assist with down payment and closing costs.

We’re excited about 2009’s growth for our homeownership program and the successes of the residents who are enrolled:

  • 10 PCRI families purchased homes (read one resident’s story here)
  • 54 families participated in our complete homebuyer counseling program
  • 17 families ended the year mortgage-ready … and looking for homes
  • 10 special-topic homebuyer education classes were held
  • PCRI’s post-purchase education initiative, “Life After Renting,” was implemented
  • $178,000 in down-payment assistance was distributed to new homebuyers

FINANCIAL LITERACY

As an integral part of our homeownership initiative, PCRI’s financial literacy program is designed to prepare individuals and families to better manage their finances and achieve family goals such as lowering debt and improving credit scores.  Residents in this program are provided with multiple choices of sound and proven financial education curricula including: Money Smart, Dollar Works 2, and Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.

  • Developed community partnerships with OSU Extension Services to provide the Dollar Works 2 program
  • Worked with Banking on our Future to provide financial fitness to youth at the Maya Angelou Community Center
  • Had 25 individuals graduate from our financial fitness programs.  All residents who participated have developed plans to reduce debt–and have experienced notable increases in their credit scores

INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT ACCOUNTS

IDAs are matched savings programs that allow qualified individuals to set savings goals and make monthly deposits into a designated account. Each dollar deposited is matched 3:1. PCRI has been involved in the IDA matched savings program since 2007.  In 2008, we expanded our community partnership with CASA of Oregon allowing us to provide IDA’s directly through PCRI. Residents have the ability to save in 3 major areas: homeownership, higher education, and home repairs.  The program is so popular, we currently have a waiting list of  residents wanting to take advantage of it.  The program is successful, too.  In 2009, PCRI:

  • Received $70,000 in IDA funding for homeownership, education, and home repair
  • Awarded 11 IDAs to residents utilizing every cent of our allotted funds
  • Had 3 PCRI residents use funds from their homeownership IDAs towards  purchase of their first home

THRIVING FAMILIES

Here’s our newest and most innovative approach to helping PCRI residents achieve their family goals.  The Thriving Families program is the all-encompassing package that helps move residents from family stability to self sufficiency and begin the process of creating wealth.  It incorporates all the programs and services PCRI currently offers, providing an effective vehicle to help families identify their needs and aspirations and put them into a strategic plan framework. Through this framework, each family member age six and older is able to create individual and family goals to be achieved. Monetary and other incentives are offered to participants who meet and exceed agreed upon milestones. These awards can assist families to overcome barriers they currently face. 2009 was an exciting year for the program as staff finalized details and began enrolling families.  In 2009, we:

  • Received funding to begin the thriving families pilot program
  • Signed up 7 families who are actively participating in the program
  • Set a goal of tripling the number of families enrolled in the program by the end of 2010

Next up: a look at the resources available at PCRI’s community centers, where we put these programs into action.

November 27, 2009 · by pcriadmin · PCRI

“When I got here, I wasn’t sure if I should knock, ring the door bell or just walk in.  I walked in and she [Broker Shelly Fullwiley] said ‘Welcome home!'”

That’s what Rachel Allen, Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives’ resident–or more appropriately, former resident–had to say about the day she received the keys to her new North Portland home.

Rachel Allen Home Purchase Signing

Allen (pictured above signing final documents) participated in PCRI’s Home Ownership and Individual Development Account programs to help her prepare for her “Welcome home” moment.  While she says it’s hard to pinpoint a single most-helpful part of the program, she is quick to point out how it helped her better understand the process and the many pieces that make up the homebuying puzzle: Realtors, inspectors, lenders and mortgage brokers, to name a few.

“You came out fully educated about the home buying process,” Fullwiley summarized.

While education about home buying was a journey, Allen always knew her destination: a home in Portland’s north or northeast neighborhoods, close to family and with an easy commute to work.  There were times when she wondered if, in order to afford a home, she would have to move further out, but with patience and persistence she found the home and location she wanted.

“Rachel followed her game plan,” said PCRI Homeownership Coordinator Charles Funches (pictured below with Fullwiley, left, and Allen, right).  He added, “Rachel never had to compromise.  That’s powerful.”

Shelly Fullwiley, Charles Funches and Homeowner Rachel Allen

Funches credits Allen’s focus and determination as defining assets.  Combined with wisdom gained from the program’s classes and meetings, these assets were key to realizing her homeownership dream.

“You set your sights very decisively that ‘this is what I’m going to do,'” he said.  “The end result is that you’re getting everything you wanted.  You’ve done it.”

In fact, Allen did get everything she wanted.  Right down to the home’s deep purple trim paint–her favorite color.

Fullwiley and Allen in front of Allen's new home

For Rachel Allen’s tips for first-time home buyers, check out our Facebook page (and become a fan!).