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Quarterly E-News: Fall 2013
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WIN Collaborates with Ocwen Financial Corporation

Working In Neighborhoods continues to "raise the bar" by initiating collaborative efforts to improve the lives of people in our neighborhoods.  This collaborative approach was the key to the new special outreach program organized by Jennifer Lis of Ocwen Financial and Pamela Hardin Willis, Manager of WIN’s Home Preservation Department. 

Ocwen Financial Corporation is a provider of residential and commercial mortgage loan servicing.  Several years ago, after assuming GMAC loan servicing, it became clear that face-to-face assistance would be required to help struggling homeowners in need of loan modifications. In July, in response to invitations from both Ocwen Bank and WIN, ten homeowners met with representatives of both organizations at the WIN Economic Learning Center.

As a result of this session, each client was assigned to a WIN Housing Counselor who will work with them until a mortgage workout/resolution is achieved.  Two clients have already been offered trial modifications while others are either in the modification process or are going through “Save The Dream” - Ohio’s foreclosure prevention program. We are happy with the results of this collaboration and hope to host another Ocwen outreach event in the near future.



Summer Youth Program Continues to Grow

A record number of youth (50) ages 5-12 participated in WIN’s Summer Camp from June 10 - August 9. Each day from 11:00 AM-5:00PM, the camp provided lunch and snacks for the kids. Campers engaged in arts & crafts, educational activities, sports, age-appropriate movies, games, field trips, swimming and other physical recreational activities. Educational activities included: reading a book and writing or drawing what happened in the book, practicing foundations in math, fun and safe science experiments and learning about history. Field trips included: Cincinnati Zoo, Arts in the Library, Young Chefs Academy, Center of Science and Industry (COSI), The Beach Waterpark, Afro-American Museum and the Ohio State Fair. 

The summer camp was supported by 9 youth workers from the Urban League and 3 Interns from Mount St. Joseph. Special thanks to Marilyn Evans, Cozy Evans, Rebecca Wiehe, and all the volunteers for planning, supervising and executing the program. 
 
Click here for summer camp photos that are sure to make you smile. Click here to see the Summer Camp Newsletter, created by one of WIN's Youth Workers.

Borden Corridor Housing Development Advances

“When WIN helped us into our home I could finally say, ‘Let the decorating begin!'" - Dawn Ringer, New Homeowner.

Dawn and Sean Ringer are making their dream a reality as they turn a property rehabbed by WIN into a new home for their family. The Ringers’ new home is part of a $1.3 million, 24-home project to renovate the Borden Street Corridor in S.Cumminsville, where WIN has worked for over 25 years. The neighborhood has an overall home ownership rate of 54%, as high as 78% on some WIN-targeted streets. However Borden and the surrounding area continued to suffer from vacancy and foreclosure.
 
WIN partnered with S. Cumminsville Community Council to target the area for housing development. WIN will continue to rehab single-family properties, provide home-buyer classes and financial literacy seminars for first time home-buyers with the goal of reaching a 58% home ownership rate within five years. 

Click here for a virtual tour of a recently-sold WIN home on Borden St.
 
Thanks to the following Project Sponsors: Greater Cincinnati Foundation; Duke Energy; Robert H. Reakirt Foundation, PNC Bank; City of Cincinnati and SC Ministry Foundation. Special thanks to Cooper Electric and the Adrian Dominican Loan Fund for targeted support of the Ringer's home.
E-Blasts From the Past
Stories and souvenirs to celebrate WIN's upcoming 35th Anniversary. 
WIN: The Energy Efficiency Champion

In April 1991, CG&E was seeking to increase revenues for converting the local power generating station from nuclear to coal. The rate increase would have raised customer bills by 20%. (Cincinnati Enquirer) Ultimately the rates were boosted by $210 per year - a hike which many low and moderate income families could not afford. WIN acted to help make sure people in Cincinnati's low-income neighborhoods could afford to keep the heat on and stay in their homes.
CG&E Contract Signing
 

 
 









[Above: January 1995 Contract Signing: Sister Barbara Busch and WIN Staff with George Glover and Executive VP of Cincinnati Gas & Electric. Company. WIN has collaborated with Duke Energy since 1986 to provide energy education to low income customers.
 
WIN's energy work helped create a new Gas Weatherization Low-Income Program, educated neighbors on how to make wise energy choices and save money on their utility bills, and initiated the first re-lamping program in Cincinnati. During this time WIN performed thousands of energy education home visits as well as energy audits for hundreds of businesses and institutions and surveyed lighting systems for commercial customers. Families in South Cumminsville received energy education during WIN's first "Neighborhood Energy Blitz" - a canvassing based approach which continues to successfully equip and train residents of Mill Creek Valley neighborhoods. 









Left: [Consumer products such as CFLs were in their infancy when WIN began its Energy Program.]
Right[WIN's Energy Saving Services division distributed pamphlets which offered valuable information, answers to frequently asked questions and straightforward cost comparisons. It included an order form for businesses and residents to purchase compact fluorescent light bulbs.] SOURCE
 
WIN offered the public a full line of energy efficient lighting supplies - the widest range of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) available at affordable prices. WIN educated customers on the new Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) program by conducting three in-home visits and an additional three telephone visits. According to the 2000 Annual Report, "An amazing 75% of the 175 individuals completing the program saw their utility bills decrease."

WIN's Energy Department continues to look out for homeowners by making sure they have the necessary tools to be effective energy managers and keep their costs down. Today, WIN‘s services reach a seven-county area and include help for first-time homeowners, foreclosure prevention, energy savings education and financial stability workshops, including budgeting/money management and credit counseling. 
  • Did You Know? WIN was also Cincinnati's Recycling Champion! Click here for an issue of "Neighborhood Recycler". 
Then, and Now ...
"WIN truly works IN neighborhoods, not for them. In doing so, it links neighbor to neighbor in the pursuit of common goals. WIN's work yields significant payoff as residents renew themselves and improve their surroundings and the quality of their own lives."  [2000 WIN Annual Report]
  • Click here to see what neighbors were saying about WIN 30 years ago.
  • Below is one of many "Thank You" notes we recently received: 
"Thank you again; I just want you and your associates to know how much I appreciate your efforts in helping me to keep my home. This was my wife's dream house and when she went home to be with the Lord on May 26th of this year, I was determined to do everything God has equipped me to do keep and maintain it for our children and our grandchildren. God bless you and the WIN staff with all my heart."

Previously on "e-Blasts From the Past": (1992, Northside) Firtree Court
 
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