Making an Impact Across Central Oregon - Fall 2017
Shelter, Food, Education, Homeownership
As one of Central Oregon's largest nonprofit organizations, NeighborImpact serves 55,000 people annually in Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. The services offered by our organization are designed to assist people in building a future for themselves and their families while strengthening the communities around us.
The NeighborImpact Weatherization Program is now offering additional repair services for income-qualified mobile home owners and renters. Free services for your home may include:
• Health and safety repairs
• Electrical and plumbing repairs
• Leaky roof repairs
• Floor, deck, or siding repairs
NeighborImpact has partnered with the Meyer Memorial Trust to expand our professional weatherization services to mobile homes in Crook and Jefferson Counties and in rural areas of Deschutes County. The purpose of this program is to increase the energy efficiency of homes for cooler summers, warmer winters and lower energy bills.
Are you ready to lower your energy bills? Contact us today to see how we can help. Call 541- 316-2034 or visit our website at www.neighborimpact.org.
The 16th Annual Empty Bowls event will take place on November 12th at the Central Oregon Community College Campus Center. Tickets are now on sale and attendees will receive a beautifully handcrafted bowl made by local potters as well as lunch consisting of soup or chili, bread, refreshments, and dessert. Attendees will enjoy a relaxed dining experience and the music of local acoustic artists, Parlour.
Empty Bowls is an internationally recognized event that raises awareness of hunger and hunger-related issues. Participants keep their handcrafted bowl as a reminder of the millions of bowls that remain empty each day around the world. Locally, funds raised from the event support NeighborImpact’s Emergency Food Assistance program. This program feeds approximately 22,000 people each month and distributes about 2.6 million pounds of food locally each year.
Sunday, November 12, 2017
COCC Campus Center
2600 College Way in Bend
Seating Times: 12:00 PM, 1:30 PM or 3:00 PM
Tickets are $40 per person and include handcrafted bowl, artisan bread, homemade soup, refreshments, and dessert.
For tickets, please go to: www.neighborimpact.org/emptybowls.
On September 25, 2017, NeighborImpact Head Start kicked off their first full week of classes at the recently refurbished Ochoco Elementary School, now called the Ochoco School Crossing. Excitement was in the air as 38 bright-eyed children between the ages of 3 and 5 said goodbye to parents and loved ones and joined their new classmates and teachers for a full day of learning and fun.
“This is our first full-day Head Start program and we couldn’t be more excited,” says Kim Snow, Director of NeighborImpact Head Start. “Our teachers and staff have be planning and preparing for this expanded program for months. Full day Head Start will allow us more time with each student to make improvements in their language, math and social-emotional development and be better prepared for Kindergarten when the time comes.”
Full-day Head Start programs have been on the rise across the United States in recent years with positive results. Full-day preschool students are more likely to score at or above the national average in examinations of literacy, math, and language development as compared to part-day students. Full-day students also have higher attendance rates than part-day students, which benefits the individual student and the class as a whole.
“Full-day Head Start is something Central Oregon communities have been asking for for a number of years,” continues Snow. “Not only are students able to spend more quality time learning but their parents are provided with time during the day to work on their GED, take classes, or look for full-time work while still actively participating in their child’s education. Plus, eventually, many of our students will only have to walk a mere 20 steps from their front door to arrive at school. How cool is that?”
What Snow is referring to is that while Ochoco School Crossing is home to our Head Start program, it will also be home to a variety of Crook County Parks and Recreation District programs and 29 affordable housing apartments in the near future. The Ochoco School Crossing project is a collaboration between NeighborImpact, Housing Works, and the Parks and Recreation District.
For more information about NeighborImpact Head Start, please visit our website at www.neighborimpact.org/headstart or call 541-323-6527.
Chef Matthew Fidler knows a lot about meat! How to select it, how cure it, how to grind it, but, most importantly, how to prepare and serve it! Although specializing in wurst, or European fine sausages, Matthew creatively pairs his specialty meats and sausages with other European delights such as sauerkraut and Belgian Frittes.
Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, you may be wondering, “What does this have to do with NeighborImpact?” Well, Matthew’s love for the culinary arts and European flavors inspired him to want to open his own food truck and catering business. What Matthew needed next was money and good sound business advice.
Enter NeighborImpact’s Matched Savings program.
Matthew found out about NeighborImpact’s Matched Savings program through a friend and was soon enrolled, set up with a financial coach, and taking workshops and classes at NeighborImpact. “Basically, I loved everything about NeighborImpact. The workshops and classes were very well taught and had good information about savings and all that NeighborImpact offers,” says Matthew enthusiastically.
With every $1 he saved, Matthew then received a match of an additional $3.00 from NeighborImpact. He was able to purchase necessary equipment for his food truck and catering business and soon “We’re The Wurst” was up and running.
Matthew credits NeighborImpact and the Matched Savings program for helping turn his dream into reality, “I certainly would not have been able to start my business without the Matched Savings program,” he says. “It was fantastic. Since going through the program at NeighborImpact, we are doing very well and keeping busy at We’re The Wurst!”
For more information about NeighborImpact’s Matched Savings Program, visit www.neighborimpact.org/IDA. To find out what’s on the menu at We’re The Wurst, check out their Facebook page www.facebook.com/werethewurst.
Did you know that NeighborImpact is in the lending business? For more than 20 years, NeighborImpact has provided loans to clients in Central Oregon to purchase a home or make necessary home repairs.
Recently, our Lending Director made a bit of a discovery. He determined that NeighborImpact’s Regional Revolving Loan Fund will be helping individuals and families in Central Oregon for over a century. This is due to a couple unique factors. First, despite Central Oregon weathering one of the worst real estate markets of the Great Recession, the default rate on NeighborImpact’s loan portfolio remains low. Therefore, money lent to qualified applicants is being paid back to our organization plus a small amount of interest.
Secondly, most of funds in the Home Preservation Loan program came from Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). There have been thirteen rounds of CDBG funding from different municipalities and counties in the region between 1994 and 2009, with each award between $300,000 and $500,000. Since all of these funds remain solvent to this day, they are actively helping maintain housing stock in Central Oregon. Additionally, as loans are paid off, all principal is placed back into the fund in order to be available to lend to the next client with a qualified need.
“Although funds have become much more competitive in recent years, it is hard to argue against investing community money toward a program that has the ability to sustain itself for such a long period of time,” says NeighborImpact Lending Director, Michael Hinton. “A building doesn’t remain functional for that period of time without significant re-investment, and we are here to help preserve the housing stock in Central Oregon.”
But the mission of the NeighborImpact Lending program goes beyond the numbers, we work to help people preserve and stay in their homes. “It is humbling to have such an amazing resource when a community member needs help,” says Hinton. “The most common scenario is a senior citizen on a fixed income staring down a major home system replacement and no means to make it happen. They have good equity in the property but not enough reserves or extra income to finance the repair. They are in no way ready to move from their home and, even if they did sell, they don’t have the cash flow to pay rent in the current market. It is extremely scary not having water or a working sewage system and not having the means to address the problem. Having this program makes all the difference in the lives of people who don’t have other options.”
With our successful track record and passion for helping people help themselves, we are excited to know that the NeighborImpact Lending program will be making a difference for years to come.
For the past few years, NeighborImpact has been a beneficiary of the Bend Brewfest, raising much needed funds for our food, housing and early care and education programs. This year, when we were offered the opportunity to set up a NeighborImpact booth at Brewfest to distribute information and sell Coca-Cola beverages and pretzel necklaces, we jumped at the chance. It was a fun and worthwhile endeavor, but we could not have done it without the help and support of the event organizers and volunteers.
We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to Katelynn Jesma, Chelsea Woodmansee, and Marney Smith from The Old Mill and the Bend Brewfest organizers, without you Brewfest would not be such an amazing event. Thank you to the staff from Hayden Homes, who took time out of their busy summer schedules to string hundreds of pretzel necklaces! Also, special thanks to NeighborImpact staff and their families who strung pretzel necklaces and volunteered to run our booth during Brewfest weekend. Laurie Purcell, Michael Hensley, Elaine Salmonson, Leslie Harmon, Carly Sanders, Kim Snow, Kim Lonien, Sonia Capece, Molly Heiss, Katrina Wilson, and Patty Wilson…Thank you!
Finally, thank you to Susan Anderson and Swire Coca-Cola for your partnership with NeighborImpact. Together, we provided refreshing Coca-Cola products to thirsty event attendees and raised funds for various NeighborImpact programs.
Although George Heinz has only served on the NeighborImpact Board of Directors for one year, he has already made a BIG impact. George joined the board in 2016 to represent Crook County and to help address specific issues faced by families in Central Oregon. He was eager to bring a local perspective to the board to help people.
“Not so long ago, I faced some difficult times due to health issues. I had utilized NeighborImpact’s Energy Assistance program myself and saw firsthand how important these programs are in our community,” says George. “As my health improved to a manageable level, I became more and more active in my community, seeking out a new purpose and plan for my life. That is when the opportunity to become a part of NeighborImpact presented itself. Since then, I feel I have once again truly found a purpose and plan for me in serving my community. My passion is truly helping people, especially where it is needed most. To reach people where they are, and tackle tough issues we face in doing so.”
NeighborImpact has benefitted from George’s commitment to service. He has served on the NeighborImpact Community Services Committee and plays an active role in helping to guide, support, and develop programs throughout Central Oregon. Since George is a board representative of Crook County, he ensures Crook County has a voice at the table. George has worked closest with the NeighborImpact Energy Assistance, Emergency Food Assistance and Weatherization programs, but has also volunteered at fundraisers through our Development Department.
Thank you, George, for choosing NeighborImpact and for your dedication to those in need in Central Oregon. With your help, NeighborImpact is able to feed, house, and provide education to thousands of people across the region. NeighborImpact is fortunate to have you on board and we look forward to a long and productive relationship.
On November 28th, NeighborImpact will participate in #GivingTuesday, a global giving movement built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses, and communities in all 50 states and in countries around the world. Over the years, millions of people have come together to support and champion the causes they believe in and the communities in which they live.
A reason for the season: We have two days for getting deals - Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On #GivingTuesday, we have a day for giving back. Together, people are creating a new ritual for our annual calendar. #GivingTuesday is the opening day of the giving season, a reminder of the reason for the season.
Coming soon: NeighborImpact will have a special announcement regarding #GivingTuesday in the upcoming months. We plan to celebrate Central Oregon’s community spirit and provide you with a variety opportunities to participate, so be sure to check your email and follow us on social media for more information.
Everyone has something to give and we look forward to celebrating the season with all of you.
We are thrilled to welcome our newest Americorp VISTA member, Emma Erler, to the NeighborImpact Family. Originally hailing from Roseville, Minnesota, Emma is a recent graduate of the University of Puget Sound where she studied Sociology and Anthropology and participated in Passages, an outdoor adventure program emphasizing team building, group development and personal growth. During her studies, Emma traveled to India where she worked on sustainable development and explored the dialectic between the biomedical paradigm and traditional, historic healing practices in India.
Emma will be working with our HomeSource Department to increase awareness of HomeSource services such as matched savings, mortgage payment assistance, financial education workshops, etc. and how these programs strengthen families and the community as a whole.
"I am excited to be part of NeighborImpact and help Central Oregonians build and maintain financial stability," says Emma. “Financial stable individuals are more likely to reinvest in their community and NeighborImpact acts as the catalyst for this to happen.”
When Emma is not hard at work helping others, she can be found high off the ground rock climbing and exploring the great outdoors. Oh, she also loves a good joke. Her favorite one?
“How many opticians does it take to change a lightbulb?” Emma laughs, “Is it one or two…? One or two..?”
Welcome Emma! ;0)