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A Welcome Helping Hand

A Welcome Helping Hand

It was a rainy Friday morning when the crew of the local tree service business, Oregon Tree Works, started preparing the site for their latest project, a home surrounded by overgrown trees and greenery. This home is also a part of one of NeighborWorks Umpqua’s Community Development Block Grant repair sites. After meeting with the homeowner earlier this year, our support staff slated the home for a full roof repair. Unfortunately, the thick trees and overgrown lot would have made it impossible to fix the roof. Each property has a tight budget to cover the repairs according to the grant award and it looked like the budget would be used up in the process of clearing a path for the roof repair. Thankfully, Oregon Tree Works was there to help!

“This project is a great way for us to give back to our community,” explained Oregon Tree Works owner, Kody Williams. Kody is an ISA Certified Arborist® and is TRAQ (Tree Risk Assessment) qualified. He has an extensive background in forest management and tree care both internationally (New Zealand and Canada) and in Oregon. Kody guarantees the quality of all work conducted by Oregon Tree Works, and takes pride in his team’s ability to tackle difficult jobs safely and efficiently. He formed Oregon Tree Works to provide professional, yet affordable, tree care to residents of Douglas County.

Kody and his team were very thorough in their assessment of the work that needed to be done. They gave a realistic time frame for the work, which fit into the time frame we needed in order to start the roof repair. Kody and his team showed up early and were very professional and respectful, making efficient use of their time on the project. Thanks to Oregon Tree Works’ generous donation of services and time, we are able to continue our plans for the roof repair without delay.

The Oregon Tree Works team donated an estimated $6,000 in tree services to help our CDBG repair staff make room to replace the property owner’s roof. If your business is looking for a way to give back to the local community through a donation of time or service, ask NeighborWorks Umpqua how you can help! We have numerous ways that you can give back to your local community and would be happy to create customized opportunities for your company’s skills and staff. To learn more, reach out to our Volunteer Coordinator, Becky, at 541-673-4909 or email rmckenney@nwumpqua.org.

Oregon Impact Fund Investment

Oregon Impact Fund Investment

The following information is directly from the Oregon Community Foundation Oregon Impact Fund Loan Document on their website. To look at the full document, click here.

THE ISSUE
The demand for affordable housing continues to grow around the
state. NeighborWorks Umpqua builds and manages affordable housing
to increase and preserve the supply of multiple types of affordable
housing for low-income individuals and families in rural Southern
Oregon.

NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION/BORROWER
NeighborWorks Umpqua is a rural-focused nonprofit housing and
community development organization that serves individuals, families,
and communities in Southern Oregon through housing development,
property management, homeownership assistance, financial education,
and community convening. Founded in 1991, NeighborWorks Umpqua
serves Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, and Josephine counties. Eagle
Landing (pictured above) is a collaborative project between NeighborWorks
Umpqua and the US Department of Veterans Affairs that provides 53
units of housing for homeless veterans and their families.

STRATEGY
Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) provided loan capital to
NeighborWorks Umpqua to increase their working capital that is
needed to build and preserve housing quickly and effectively in the
broad area they serve. OCF’s loan supports NeighborWorks Umpqua’s
strategic efforts to actively increase their housing development work to
meet the ever-growing demand they see in the communities they serve.

INVESTMENT DETAILS: FINANCIAL RETURN AND IMPACT
OCF provided a $1.5 million loan to NeighborWorks Umpqua with a
three and a half percent interest rate and a seven-year term. OCF’s
investment is expected to support NeighborWorks Umpqua’s creation
or preservation of 500 units of affordable housing over five years.

Freeman, Melissa (2019). Impact Investing:  Providing capital to address pressing issues. Retrieved from https://oregoncf.org/assets/PDFs-and-Docs/PDFs/ocf_impact_investing_2019.pdf 

NeighborWorks Umpqua subsidiary, Heartwood ReSources, expanding to Grants Pass

NeighborWorks Umpqua subsidiary, Heartwood ReSources, expanding to Grants Pass

Heartwood ReSources awarded Meyer Memorial Trust Grant for a new expansion

NeighborWorks Umpqua’s subsidiary is targeting Grants Pass for new store

Roseburg, OR (November 27, 2018) NeighborWorks Umpqua and Heartwood ReSources are excited to announce plans to expand Heartwood ReSources to Grants Pass. The project will be funded through a $166,619 grant award from the private Oregon foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust. This expansion will add a recycled building supply store in Grants Pass, provide new job opportunities, new recycling avenues for the area, and will improve the area’s economic vitality. Heartwood ReSources already fulfills an environmental stewardship and economic development strategy in Douglas County designed to reduce the impact on the county’s landfill.

“It’s what we do!” exclaims Marla Zoeter, Heartwood ReSources’s Store Manager.  “Heartwood ReSources provides low-cost building supplies while providing an important environmental service. Our store helps divert waste from our local landfill while acting as a resource for professional builders, contractors, homeowners, and craft enthusiasts. We have reached out to several groups in Grants Pass, including the Josephine County Solid Waste Agency and United Community Action Network and they are just as excited as we are to bring a store to Grants Pass and to begin reducing the waste in that local area.”

Heartwood Resources began as a job opportunities program of NeighborWorks Umpqua in 2001 and went on to secure its own nonprofit 501(c)(3) status in 2005.  Heartwood ReSources and NeighborWorks Umpqua are devoted to promoting equity for all and this project will bring a greater physical presence for both nonprofit organizations in Josephine County.

 “It is very important to our organization that we continue to build on our previous years’ successes,” explains Merten Bangemann-Johnson. “A few years ago, we developed a really ambitious strategic plan. NeighborWorks Umpqua would double its 25 years of community impact in 5 years. This new store location and expansion of recycling services to another county in our service area is tantamount to our plan’s success. Marla and her staff have been creating sizable environmental impact in Roseburg for years and we are excited to bring this model to the deserving residents of Josephine County.”

NeighborWorks Umpqua and Heartwood ReSources have targeted June 2019 for the store’s grand opening. To meet that deadline, new staff will be hired and trained at the Roseburg store starting in early spring, 2019.  To apply for positions for the new location visit nwumpqua.org. For more information on the grand opening, make sure to visit heartwoodresources.org.

About Heartwood ReSources

A nonprofit donation and salvage company established in October 2001 to enhance the livability of our greater Douglas County, Heartwood ReSources provides affordable building materials, jobs and job training, public education on environmental stewardship, and promotes the retention of affordable housing.

About NeighborWorks Umpqua

NeighborWorks Umpqua is a rural-focused housing and community development non-profit committed to promoting opportunity for all through quality housing, community development, property management, financial services, education, and advocacy in order to attain economic, social and environmental sustainability and equity. Started in 1991, NeighborWorks Umpqua provides over 600 units of housing, economic development opportunities, home rehabilitation services, and direct services focused on homeownership and personal finances. 

Leesa Cobb wants you to join NeighborWorks Umpqua Board of Directors

Join NeighborWorks Umpqua's Board of Directors

Find out why Leesa Cobb thinks you should join us!

Calling all passionate community members in Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Curry, and Coos: NeighborWorks Umpqua is looking for you! The rural nonprofit is happy to announce open enrollment for its Board of Directors. With over 25 years of service in Southern Oregon, we want you to help us take the organization to the next level. The perfect NeighborWorks Umpqua (NWU) Board candidate will be equity and diversity-focused, and excited about serving alongside an extremely varied group of individuals from all walks of life. From skilled lawyers to passionate community members, our board members come from all sorts of different professions, backgrounds, and neighborhoods, but all take great pride and fulfillment in serving. Read what Board member, Leesa Cobb, has to say about the history of the organization and what serving on the NWU Board of Directors means in her own words.

“NWU is an organization working to make communities better, stronger, durable, and good places to live, work, and raise your family. The staff and board select projects that will make a difference and lift people up. You come into a board meeting excited about the projects in the works and leave the board meeting excited about the next projects coming up. It’s a ‘can do’ organization whose projects will often intersect with your areas of passion.

Take my passion for example. I believe there is a strong intersection between affordable housing and healthcare. I am the Executive Director of the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team and the Vice-Chair of the Coast Community Health Center and my family has been a part of Oregon since 1870. I grew up in a farming family and married into a commercial fishing family and stay active in my community. NWU’s work is critical to our area. One aspect of their services is the acquisition and retention of affordable housing in our region.  This is critical to keeping families housed. The “housing first” model is connected to better access to health care. Once you get someone into housing you can work on all the other issues, whether it’s mental health, whether it’s substance abuse, whether it’s not being able to hold onto a job. This simple connection is a key component of improving the quality of life for Oregonians and is just one of the many ways that NWU improves our Southern Oregon community!

I believe in the work of this organization. It lifts people up in a region that is struggling, offering a hand-up. My Mother taught her children to volunteer and help our community, and one of the most meaningful ways is through a Board membership with NWU. NWU gets things done. It inspires me every day because I see the projects evoke positive changes in the community.

If you are looking for a chance to improve your community, ask yourself one question. Why haven’t you applied? Apply for Board membership today. I look forward to serving with you. ”

Interested in serving on a Board of Directors dedicated to providing innovative solutions in housing, finance, and community matters? Then sign-up with NeighborWorks Umpqua’s Board of Directors today. Fill out the form below and let’s work together to create a better Southern Oregon for all!

Board of Directors Inquiry Form

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David Morrison wants you to join NeighborWorks Umpqua’s Board of Directors

David Morrison wants you to join NeighborWorks Umpqua’s Board of Directors

Join NeighborWorks Umpqua's Board of Directors

Find out why David Morrison thinks you should join us!

Calling all passionate community members in Jackson, Josephine, and Coos: NeighborWorks Umpqua is looking for you! The rural nonprofit is happy to announce open enrollment for its Board of Directors. With over 25 years of service in Southern Oregon, we want you to help us take the organization to the next level. The perfect NeighborWorks Umpqua (NWU) Board candidate will be equity and diversity-focused, and excited about serving alongside an extremely varied group of individuals from all walks of life. From skilled lawyers to passionate community members, our board members come from all sorts of different professions, backgrounds, and neighborhoods, but all take great pride and fulfillment in serving. Read what a storied member of our Board, David Morrison, has to say about the history of the organization and what serving on the NWU Board of Directors means in his own words.

“I was lucky enough to help start the company and serve on its Board since day one. For me it’s been a great ride, a social activist’s dream come true. So what better time to share some of my memories and reflections about NWU, a nationally recognized leader and innovator not just within the rural community development network but also among the national support and backup groups. From Dream$avers to mobile home deconstruction and recycling and everything in between, NWU has become one of a handful of cutting-edge organizations in the nonprofit community development world.

NWU’s history is personal for me. Its roots are in a previous time when activism for political, social, and economic justice was more accepted and encouraged. I had the good luck to come of age politically and professionally in that era. When I moved to Roseburg 32 years ago to be a staff attorney in a recently opened Legal Aid office, I was actively expected as part of my job to work with community organizations. I studied community development in law school. The Legal Services program could never hope to meet the legal needs of its poor clients one-on-one. We had to be creative to find ways to maximize impact on behalf of our clients.

In those days Douglas County was still, legally speaking, the wild west. We sued the debt collectors, the used car dealers, the slumlords, the welfare department, and the hospitals all to good effect in protecting and advancing the rights of the most vulnerable among us. We joked that we were comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. But legal band-aids only went so far.

Suing landlords didn’t do anything to increase the stock of decent affordable housing. The courtroom was still important, but it was clear that to maximize our efforts and to leverage scarce resources we also had to step outside the courtroom and be community activists and community organizers.

We dreamt of doing more.

Just as we went beyond the limitations of the courtroom with community action, now we wanted to go beyond community action with community development. We wanted to build affordable housing. We wanted to do bottom-up economic development. And so through the efforts of many people and with the support of UCAN, Douglas County, and the then Umpqua Regional Council of governments, NeighborWorks Umpqua was born. And now here we are 27 years later at an important crossroad for the organization. This is why we need you to join us!

We are a non-profit corporation, working outside the prevailing economic model of a profit-driven enterprise. The economic earthquakes we’ve experienced has revealed the ugly truth about where an unfettered, unregulated profit/self-interest based system can lead us, we’re going to need to find some alternative business models that can produce something more sustainable, meaningful, and responsible. With your help and leadership, we can strengthen our community economically and teach the crucial difference between community-mindedness and self-interest.”

Interested in serving on a Board of Directors dedicated to providing innovative solutions in housing, finance, and community matters? Then sign-up with NeighborWorks Umpqua’s Board of Directors today. Fill out the form below and let’s work together to create a better Southern Oregon for all!

Board of Directors Inquiry Form

5 + 6 =