Category Archives: Uncategorized

Economic Learning: Workshops and Classes

We’ve all heard the old adage that “Money can’t buy happiness.”

That may be true, but we also know how stressful budget shortfalls and unexpected expenses can be. WIN’s economic education classes and workshops can help people make the most of the money they have, avoid financial pitfalls, and plan for their future.

Want to purchase a home? Save money on energy bills? Learn to be a savvy consumer? Protect your identity and finances from scammers? Stay healthy on a budget?

Sign up for one of WIN’s free classes and workshops!

2017 Home Buyer Classes

2017 Financial Literacy Workshops

Are you grateful? We are.

GratitudeMy organization came upon two very courageous people; one who was displaced from Hurricane Katrina and became homeless, the other who had suffered a medical emergency, putting her behind financially. Both had worked all their lives until these unforeseen life events. It can and does happen to the best of us.

Each of these stories, with what seemed to be insurmountable obstacles, came to Working In Neighborhoods. Our experienced and caring staff worked feverishly to resolve every obstacle thrown in their path, striving for a positive outcome for each of them. Happily, we can report that one of the cases is well on her way to a new path with new beginnings, and the other has not only been able to save her home, but owns it free and clear; she will be able to look to retirement and enjoy life again.

I’m telling these stories because it is the kind of work we do, but above all, it is the dedicated and caring staff that makes up the team here at WIN. As one staff member stated, “Although the work can be exhausting and never ending, we are lucky to be a part of this great organization”.

As we continue our journey into WIN’s 36th year, we want to take a moment to celebrate the human spirit, and to those who give. Many of you will never know just how your gift touches a life, regardless of who you support, but you are engaged in the business of selflessness.

We often speak of kindness, and yes we could use more of it, but selflessness takes us all one step beyond. It means different things to different people, but the outcome is the same – goodness, caring, kindness and warmth to the heart. I know Working In Neighborhoods could not provide for those we serve without the many who have reached that special place and seeing the light of true selflessness. We thank you.

WIN’s Newest Homeowner!

Untitled 0 02 39-03The little blue “Doll House” on Llewellyn Avenue has a new owner! Ken Oster purchased the WIN-renovated home in February and is excited to be a homeowner and a resident of South Cumminsville. The one-bedroom/one-bathroom home has an open floorplan that is perfect for Ken’s needs. The flexibility of the floor plan and the affordability of the purchase plan are a wonderful “fit,” meeting both Ken’s physical and financial needs. Ken has already become a familiar sight in the neighborhood, walking or riding his bike. Ha has also been working with the South Cumminsville gardeners, helping to beautify his neighborhood.

Reclaiming Our Community Together

Foreclosure signs by Occupy Cincinnati hang from doorsOn April 21, Working In Neighborhoods released our annual study of foreclosures in Hamilton County. While the foreclosures in our community decreased by 17.5%, there were still 2,418 Hamilton County families who lost their home to foreclosure in 2013. Foreclosure numbers are improving, but the crisis is far from over. In the past 7 years, a total of 22,190 Hamilton County families lost their homes.

If a natural disaster displaced 2,418 families in Hamilton County, our community would pull together, marshall our resources, and address the problem head-on. We must respond to this crisis with the same amount of energy and creativity. We must repair the damage cause by foreclosures if our community stands a chance of moving forward.

Foreclosures in our community have hurt all of us. We have seen the median value of all properties in Hamilton County fall from a high of $135,000 in 2006 to a low of $112,000 in 2013. Last year, properties sold at Sheriff’s Sale for average of $48,000. What’s more, many of our neighborhoods are left with multiple vacant homes that decrease property values and make our communities less desirable places to live.

In 2014, how do we round this corner and recover from the foreclosure crisis? We must raise home values in our community in order to save our residents’ investments and to encourage the growth of home ownership in Hamilton County. There is an ongoing effort to demolish vacant, foreclosed homes in our community, but this approach only leaves us with vacant lots that need to be maintained.

A better solution is to return vacant homes and vacant lots to productive uses. We must renovate the vacant homes and keep our residents and our investments in Hamilton County. As public money dwindles, it is even more important for our community to raise private dollars. We know that foundations alone cannot address this need, so we need to create partnerships with every corporation and investor in our community so that we can work to repair the damage and move forward. We must call on lending institutions to inevst in renovation and stabilization projects across Hamilton County. We must also call on them to work with distressed homeowners so that the number of new foreclosures continues to decrease.

We know that Greater Cincinnati is comprised of residents and businesses who are proud and passionate about about the future of our community. We have seen over and over the generous response of our community to crisis. Now is the time to rebuild our neighborhoods and move toward a more prosperous future for all of us.

Improving Neighborhoods

IMG_0067Working In Neighborhoods empowers people to make informed choices for themselves and their neighborhoods through community building, home ownership, and economic learning. During 2013, WIN staff and volunteers, working with our community partners, carried out that mission in a variety of ways. Here are some highlights of accomplishments during our 35th Anniversary Year.

Economic Learning

  • Provided energy education to nearly 600 families
  • Conducted financial literacy workshops for 60 clients
  • Provided Ohio Benefits Bank Assistance to 63 clients

Community Building

  • Trained new neighborhood leaders and provided additional training for established leaders
  • Worked with the South Cumminsville Community Council and trained a core of leaders
  • Worked with the South Cumminsville Action Team to recruit 184 people to work on the Beekman Street Corridor Project

Homeownership

  • Conducted homebuyer classes for 160 clients
  • Provided individual counseling to 85 people to prepare them for homeownership
  • Conducted a Homebuyers Club for 22 clients
  • Through WIN’s housing counseling and the Save the Dream Ohio program, saved 340 homes from foreclosure
  • Started construction on 4 new units and sold 6 completed units to first-time homebuyers
  • Over 400 volunteers provided nearly 2,000 hours of service for WIN’s programs

 

This Is Powerful!

SingleMomDid you know that 65% of the families Working In Neighborhoods serves are single-mothers with children.

Of all single-parent families in the U.S., single mothers make up the majority, and out of 12.2 million single parent families in 2012, more than 80% were headed by single mothers.Single parent women are raising 20 million children under the age of 18, and of that group 41% of single parent households live at or below the poverty level. Poverty is on the rise in single-mother families.

When a destitute mother starts earning an income, her goal to succeed invariably centers around her children; a woman’s second priority is the household. She wants to buy utensils, or find a bed for herself and her family. Newly divorced or single mothers establishing homes with their children is a significant subset of single female homeowners – the need for supporting single parent women as they build their lives, their careers, and raise their children is our nation’s future.

Few people have ever spent their way out of poverty.Those who escape do so through saving and investing for the long-term. Working In Neighborhoods provides the opportunity for these families to obtain the skills for long –term financial stability, ultimately leading to success in their lives and for their children’s future.