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Back to School: Children of Homeowners Show Higher Academic Results

  
  
  
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Photo courtesy of cubiclechick.com

by Holli Melancon

Thursday morning, students across Muscogee County will head back to school for the new year.

Some will carpool, others may ride the bus or walk; some will bring lunches and others will get them from the school cafeteria; some will be eager and excited and others will mourn the loss of summer for a while.

All sorts of factors will impact these students and their success this year: family life, neighborhoods, teachers, student willingness and even, perhaps, some of the things above. One of the factors that may influence a student’s success, according to studies done over the years, is homeownership.

While there are obviously many variables to academic achievement, homeownership continues to show positive impacts on student success and behavior.

The study, conducted by the Research Institute for Housing America, shows several ways that, on average, homeownership benefits children.

One of the greatest findings was the children of homeowners are 2.6 percent less likely to drop out of high school. The study also found that daughters of homeowners were 5 percent less likely to become pregnant before age 17.

This is not to say that only children of homeowners will succeed or to make anyone who isn’t a homeowner feel guilty. (Of course, if you aren’t a homeowner yet, there are several ways NeighborWorks Columbus can help you obtain a home: financial fitness, down payment assistance, credit counseling and lending assistance).

There are a few reasons for these results, though.

First, homeowners are more likely to invest in the quality of their living space. Since they actually purchase their homes, people who buy instead of rent will often be willing to keep their homes maintained and safe. They also might spend more time cleaning, painting, decorating or just improving the quality of their home.

While renters clearly can do these things, too, the likelihood of investing in a space that isn’t theirs is just not as high. Landlords are responsible for repairs and maintenance, and many will take the time to make sure their renters’ homes are up to par, but others may just get by with minimum work. Homeowners are more likely to do even the miniscule things to keep their homes the most quality they can be, and this resonates with children, even if on a subconscious level.

Another big reason is stability. People who invest in a home are more likely to stay in that environment for a long time, and this is important in child development. Though people can rent the same home for a long time, there is still an element that is less guaranteed than home ownership.

No matter your home situation, though, I wish you and your children the very best school year yet!

About NeighborWorks Columbus

NeighborWorks® Columbus’, a community-based 501c (3) nonprofit organization, mission is to provide access to fit and affordable housing for all citizens of low to moderate income. NeighborWorks® Columbus’ vision and deep commitment remains to improve the quality of life through the elimination of substandard housing and the revitalization of target neighborhoods. For more information about NeighborWorks® Columbus and its services, visit nwcolumbus.org or call 706-324-HOME (4663).

Keywords: homeownership, housing Columbus GA, education, homeownership and education, quality of life, academic success, achieving results, first time home buyers, lending assistance, down payment assistance, financial fitness


Maximum Impact: 31st Annual National Night Out

  
  
  
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Source: www.nationalnightout.org

The National Association of Town Watch (NATW) has announced that the 31st Annual National Night Out (NNO) program will culminate on Tuesday, August 5, 2014.

NNO 2013 involved over 37.8 million people in 16,242 communities from all 50 states,

U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide. National Night Out 2014 is expected to be the largest ever.

National Night Out, a yearlong community building campaign, is designed to: (1) heighten crime prevention awareness, (2) generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs, (3) strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, and (4) send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Along with the traditional outside lights and front porch vigils, most cities and towns celebrate National Night Out with a variety of special citywide and neighborhood events such as block parties, cookouts, parades, festivals, visits from local officials and law enforcement, safety fairs, and youth events.

In celebration with the 31st National Night Out, the Columbus Parks and Recreation - Therapeutic Recreation Section will host a block party at the Pop Austin Recreation Center. Come out and join the fun, cookout, enjoy music, engage in adapted sports, and socialize with other individuals within the community.

The Columbus Office of Crime Prevention, under the leadership of NeighborWorks Columbus board member Seth Brown, offers year-round resources for nonprofits and citizens to mobilize the efforts and ideas to make Columbus, Georgia the "Safest City in America".

National Project Coordinator, Matt Peskin said, “This is a night for America to stand together and promote awareness, safety, and neighborhood unity. National Night Out showcases the vital importance of police-community partnerships and citizen involvement in our fight for a safer nation. On NNO, we invite neighborhoods nationwide to join us and “give crime a going away party”.

INeighborhood Watch21f you are interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch program, please call the Crime Prevention Unit at (706) 653-3173, and tell them you would like to hold an initial Neighborhood Watch Meeting. The Crime Prevention Unit will provide you with printed invitations for the meeting. The next step is mailing out the invitations to your neighbors. For a checklist to start a Neighborhood Watch click here. It would also help to have the following information as complete as possible by the first meeting:

About NeighborWorks Columbus

NeighborWorks® Columbus’, a community-based 501c (3) nonprofit organization, mission is to provide access to fit and affordable housing for all citizens of low to moderate income. NeighborWorks® Columbus’ vision and deep commitment remains to improve the quality of life through the elimination of substandard housing and the revitalization of target neighborhoods. For more information about NeighborWorks® Columbus and its services, visit nwcolumbus.org or call 706-324-HOME (4663).


 

Maximum Impact: How NeighborWorks Columbus uses online donations

  
  
  

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Photo courtesy of www.nptechforgood.com

by Holli Melancon

We have known for a while that we live in a community of generous people, but thanks to a recent survey we have proof.

Recently, the Ledger-Enquirer published an article that said Columbus ranks 200 in the list of America’s most generous cities when it comes to online giving.

As we progress with work on Columbus Cottage No. 7, there is no doubt in our minds how giving this community truly is. Without the support of our donors, the Cottage Program, which provides housing for elderly living in substandard conditions, simply would not be possible.

With the Cottage Program, the home is torn down and rebuilt on the very property where the recipient has been residing. That way, they have a new, safe home to live in, but don’t have to move from the neighborhood they know and love.

It truly takes a village to make this program happen, and luckily, we have the support of our local government, foundations, businesses, and of course, kind-hearted people willing to give.

In light of this survey, we thought it would be worthwhile to talk about how we put donations to use in our Cottage Program.

With donations, we purchase alarm systems, household appliances, bath accessories, cabinets, tile, closet shelves, framing, hardware and locks, HVAC, insulation, interior hardware and trim, kitchen equipment, light fixtures, mirrors, nails and screws, paint, plumbing supplies, roofing, sheetrock, shingles, slab, vinyl floors, wall coverings and framing, windows, and doors.

We are also able to pay for services, like electricity, landscaping, masonry, plumbing, and roofing, just to name a few.

The actual cottages are built with the help of contractors, our certified employees, and volunteers. Without the supplies, there would be no house to build, and we are forever grateful for the support of this community.

Our next home, which is being renovated in conjunction with House of Heroes, belongs to 83-year-old Mrs. Edna Reeves. We are glad our community cares about its elderly and joins us in building lives, one home at a time.  Visit our secure online giving portal at  https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=60644

To learn more at  about the House of Heroes collaboration and Columbus Cottage No. 7, visit these helpful links:

Columbus Cottage Moving Day

Columbus Cottage Recipient Announcement and House of Heroes Collaboration

About the Columbus Cottage Program

The Columbus Cottage Program is a public/private partnership made possible with philanthropic support from local foundations, organizations and community support. Started in 2008, NeighborWorks® Columbus, Columbus Consolidated Government and local community leaders, sought to eliminate substandard housing for impoverished elderly citizens. Since then, several cottages have been built for well deserving seniors.

About NeighborWorks Columbus

NeighborWorks® Columbus’, a community-based 501c (3) nonprofit organization, mission is to provide access to fit and affordable housing for all citizens of low to moderate income. “We are very pleased that this contribution will allow us to continue to provide education and foreclosure prevention services to a number of families in Georgia,” says Cathy Williams, President and CEO of NeighborWorks ® Columbus. NeighborWorks® Columbus’ vision and deep commitment remains to improve the quality of life through the elimination of substandard housing and the revitalization of target neighborhoods. For more information about NeighborWorks® Columbus and its services, visit nwcolumbus.org or call 706-324-HOME (4663).

About House of Heroes, Inc.

House of Heroes recognizes honors and serves military and public safety veterans and their spouses for faithful and sacrificial service to our country.  The House of Heroes volunteers assist our military veterans and public safety and/or their spouses by making repairs, improvements and maintenance to their homes at no charge to them.

Maximum Impact: Homeownership Assistance

  
  
  

Homeownership Center

Photo courtesy of www.keepingcurrentmatters.com
 

By Tyler A Snell

Homeownership – part of the American dream.

Do you own a home? Then get ready to celebrate we are in the midst of National Homeownership Month! It’s a time where homeowners can take a moment to appreciate their homes and what owning these houses means to them.

Do you want to be able to celebrate this homeownership month but are afraid you can’t afford your first house?

NeighborWorks can help you!

NeighborWorks Columbus HomeOwnership Center has the steps to help getting you that affordable housing while also educating you on first time ownership. The center offers all the important services and training that you need to shop for, purchase, rehabilitate, insure and maintain a home. A housing counselor will even register you to attend a one-hour homebuyer orientation class where you will learn what you need to know about the road to homeownership.

NeighborWorks Columbus offers services such as: homebuyer education, homeownership counseling, down payment assistance, help with rebuilding credit, low interest loans, and foreclosure prevention counseling. All of these services are great, putting you on the right path to your owning first home.

Also offered is the eHome America Homebuyer Education Course. Its content is tailored to help more people obtain Certified Homebuyer Education and a great alternative for those who can’t make it to in-person counseling due to schedule conflicts.

NeighborWorks Columbus as well as the HomeOwnership Center that it’s a part of, offers low interest rate loans, affordable down payment assistance programs, and affordable second-mortgage financing. Also offered are various types of mortgage loans including VA, FHA and conventional loans. Giving many great options for those looking to purchase their first home.

If you want to join in on the celebration of owning your own home, don’t let the fear of the price and unknowns stop you. Visit us at www.nwcolumbus.org for more information and don’t hesitate to contact NeighborWorks to get started right away!

Homeownership could be right around the corner for you!

About NeighborWorks Columbus

NeighborWorks® Columbus, a community-based 501c (3) nonprofit financial institution, has a mission is to provide access to fit and affordable as well as build financial assets for low to moderate-income individuals. It is NeighborWorks® Columbus’ vision and deep commitment to improve the quality of life through the elimination of substandard housing and the revitalization of target neighborhoods. For more information about NeighborWorks® Columbus and its services, visit www.nwcolumbus.org or call 706-324-HOME (4663).

 

Maximum Impact: Memorial Day and Hallock Soldiers Fund

  
  
  

Hallock Soldiers Fund

Memorial Day is a time where we honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military, the fallen soldiers that have made our freedom possible. Many often spend this day, May 26, hanging out with family and friends, visiting memorials or cemeteries, or watching/participating in parades made to honor these soldiers.

NeighborWorks also likes to remember those who fought and are still fighting in our military. This Sunday volunteers will honor the memories of those who have served by attending the finish line celebration at the Run For The Heroes from 7 to 10 p.m. on Broadway.

Run for the Heroes is a 260-mile run across Georgia that started on May 21 and will end on May 25. This race will benefit House of Heroes, Inc. that assists our military veterans and/or their spouses. They make repairs, improvements and provide maintenance to veterans’ homes at no charge to them.

Attending this event is free and open to the public. You can even get up-to-speed by checking the runners’ progress at Run for the Heroes website.

NeighborWorks, while encouraging the act of honoring those fallen soldiers and military veterans, also helps those who are currently serving in the military. Offering the Hallock Soldiers Fund, NeighborWorks wants to make homeownership for soldiers a reachable goal.

Straight from the NeighborWorks website:

“The Hallock Soldiers Fund increases aid available to our soldiers seeking homeownership through down payment assistance, low interest loans and matching incentives. The Hallock Soldiers Fund is a grant that provides up to $5,000 to potential homeowners with a deferred payment subordinate mortgage. This grant can be used for down payment assistance, closing costs and prepaid expenses associated with purchasing a home.”

This program is designed for first time homebuyers. There is no cost to military families for this comprehensive assistance.

Those who are interested in this program should call 706.324.HOME for more information!

About NeighborWorks Columbus

NeighborWorks® Columbus’, a community-based 501c (3) nonprofit organization, mission is to provide access to fit and affordable housing for all citizens of low to moderate income.  NeighborWorks® Columbus’ vision and deep commitment remains to improve the quality of life through the elimination of substandard housing and the revitalization of target neighborhoods.  For more information about NeighborWorks® Columbus and homebuyer education and counseling programs, visit www.nwcolumbus.org or call 706.324.HOME.

Tyler Anne Snell

Writer, Designer, Blogger

www.chasingthere.com

Maximum Impact: The Benefits of Community Gardens

  
  
  

community gardens

Hard working Brewer and MLK Elementary school students are tending gardens this summer through Ronzell Buckner’s Turn Around Columbus, a tutoring and mentoring program based at the Michael Fluellen Recreation Center. MidTown, Inc. heard that many of the original gardeners of the Debra A. Jones Memorial Garden in East Wynnton Park could no longer tend their own garden spaces, and envisioned a partnership with Mr. Buckner’s program. He characteristically seized the opportunity, and recruited Ariel Baldwin, Tavaris Baldwin, Jimmy Fortson, Ivy Pugh, Deontae Baldwin, Queen Williams and Saveion Pugh to work the gardens. With the help of Martha Mullinax, a master gardener and volunteer for Wynnton Methodist Church, and Wesley Shorter, a Turn Around Columbus volunteer, the students learned about planting, weed control, watering and the myriad tasks associated with cultivating an organic vegetable garden. Photo and description courtesy of Midtown, Inc.

by Tyler Snell

NeighborWorks® Columbus is all about improving the quality of life and the revitalization of target neighborhoods. That means supporting and bringing to light different methods to make a community better and stronger.  Something seemingly as small as creating a community garden can help revive a neighborhood as well as a community.

Gardening is an act we all do it at one point or the other. From planting flowers around our mailboxes to pulling out those annoying weeds, almost everyone can claim they’ve participated in this green activity. However, not everyone can say they’ve been a part of a community garden.

A community garden can, not only be fun and productive, but it can also bring a neighborhood that much closer together.

A public garden can help build a stronger sense of community in neighborhoods, help each other eat healthier, get each other outside and moving, help teach valuable life lessons, and overall just bring a better quality of life to you and your area.

Building a Stronger Community

Events and activities can bring a neighborhood together, which can help build better and stronger relationships within your community. A neighborhood public garden gives you and your neighbors a chance to spend time together while also being productive.  Whether you’re having a casual conversation or helping each other with planting trips and tricks, bonds can be formed that might not have been otherwise. All ages and backgrounds can enjoy the act of gardening!

Giving you healthier eating options

A community garden is an excellent opportunity to attempt to eat healthier while saving some money. Plan and grow herbs, vegetables, and even fruit. Having a successful edible bounty means you have no excuse to avoid eating better. Plus, there’s always a great sense of pride when you’re able to eat something that you grew with your own two hands!

Getting You Outside and Moving

Planting and working in a community garden has the wonderful benefit of getting you and your neighbors outside and working. Nothing like sunshine and fresh air to make everyone happier and healthier! Gardening can be a social workout the produces some beautiful results.

Teaching valuable life lessons

Gardening can be fun while also being educational for the young ones.  Having the kids take part in community gardening will help show them the process of where food comes from and also how to sustain the environment. It will also keep them mindful of what an individual as well as a group of people working together can accomplish over time.

Participating in your community garden has many benefits for you and your family. Do you not have a garden you can take part in? Get your neighborhood involved and start one!

A community full of green thumbs can make for a wonderful gardening and life experience!  Here are a few resources on local community gardens:  

 The Community Garden Network

Jennifer W. Davidson

(706) 653-4200

jdavidso@uga.edu

 

Columbus Botanical Garden

3603 Weems Road, Columbus, Georgia

contactus@columbusbotanicalgarden.org

706-327-8400

 

About NeighborWorks Columbus

NeighborWorks® Columbus’, a community-based 501c (3) nonprofit organization, mission is to provide access to fit and affordable housing for all citizens of low to moderate income.  NeighborWorks® Columbus’ vision and deep commitment remains to improve the quality of life through the elimination of substandard housing and the revitalization of target neighborhoods.  For more information about NeighborWorks® Columbus and homebuyer education and counseling programs, visit www.nwcolumbus.org or call 706.324.HOME.

Maximum Impact: “Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow” – Older Americans Month

  
  
  

neighborworks columbus, columbus cottage programby Tyler A Snell from Almost There

This May we would like to remind everyone to take notice of a month-long celebration known as Older Americans Month. Originally established in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy, this tradition is a time to recognize older Americans aged 65 and older for their hard work, past and current, as well as the many contributions those have made throughout the years. It’s also a time to make sure each older American knows how they can stay healthy and active.

This month’s theme is “Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow,” focusing on injury prevention. It’s important to know as much information as you can when it comes to avoiding unintentional injuries that Older Americans run the higher risk of experiencing.

Here are two ways to help celebrate Older Americans Month while also ensuring the safety of those in your family and your community.

Encourage Knowledge

First and foremost, encouraging older Americans to learn the different causes of unintentional and intentional injury common for their age can make all the difference between being seriously hurt and even avoiding death.  Numbers as high as 6 million older Americans are medically treated for injuries while some 30,000 deaths occur each year. Talk to the people in your life and make sure they know what to watch out for and what to do when and if an injury occurs.

Create Community Awareness

Helping, not only those close to you, but also those in your community is a great way to celebrate Older Americans Month. Host a local meeting to talk about the issues that can cause injury and what the response would be for them. Organize workshops about things like home fire safety and safe driving can also be helpful to those older American in your community.

Now, if you are one of these great individuals 65 or older, here are a few tips to consider this month to help stay safe throughout each day.

Everyday Safety

  • Make sure you have good lightning throughout your house and outside. This can help reduce the chances of falling or being disoriented at night.
  • Install rails and grab bars where they might be needed, like bathrooms and stairs.
  • Check fire detectors regularly to ensure they are all up to working order.
  • If you’re planning on driving a long distance, go ahead and designate a specific route so as to avoid any unwanted confusion or last second changes.
  • Finding places with easy parking is a great way to make any day easier and safer.
  • Have your phones easily accessible and near throughout your house in case of an emergency.
  • Knowledge is power and should be shared within your community. Protect those who have helped shape your community by making a conscious decision to keep everyone informed about the potential threats against their safety.

Being safe today does lead to a healthy tomorrow. Let’s help ourselves as well as those in our community live longer, healthier lives!

About NeighborWorks Columbus

NeighborWorks® Columbus’, a community-based 501c (3) nonprofit organization, mission is to provide access to fit and affordable housing for all citizens of low to moderate income. NeighborWorks® Columbus’ vision and deep commitment remains to improve the quality of life through the elimination of substandard housing and the revitalization of target neighborhoods. For more information about NeighborWorks® Columbus and its services, visit nwcolumbus.org or call 706-324-HOME (4663).

Maximum Impact: A Quick Guide to Celebrating Earth Day

  
  
  

earth day aflac restore revitalization

By Tyler A Snell of Almost There

Earth Day, recognized every April 22, is a day many celebrate by showing their support for the environment as well as its protection. However, with Earth Day approaching fast, some wonder what does that really mean? How are you supposed to fight for a clean environment on this specific day each year?

Here’s a quick list of activities that you can participate in to celebrate this holiday while also helping your environment as well as your community!

1. Become Informed

Like any holiday or special event, before you celebrate you should learn the meaning behind what you’re doing. Learn more about the environment and what you can do daily to better your situation.

2. Give Back

Reuse is a big Earth Day theme so why not hop onto the bandwagon? Hold a garage sale to purge your home of the items you no longer use. This act alone can give back to your community while showing a great example of recycling.

3. Donate

Do you have some items that you don’t mind parting with without monetary gain? There are many individuals and organizations that can benefit by a selfless donation. Earth Day is about bettering the environment. Helping those in need definitely counts!

4. Plant, Plant, Plant

Plant a tree! Whether it’s in your own garden or a community one, take some time to plant something. Gardening on Earth Day can help the environment while also giving a community something to do together.

5. Clean Up

Is there a community lot like a park or walking trail that has trash strung around? Organize a group or act on your own to help pick up litter left behind to make a public place more presentable and clean.

6. Create Crafts

Making nature-related crafts at home or at a community place can be fun while also helping teach children the importance of the environment. Plus, participating in a fun Earth Day-themed event can help bring you and your neighbors closer together.

Even if you have a busy schedule, participating in some or all of these activities can help make your Earth Day productive and special.

About NeighborWorks Columbus

NeighborWorks® Columbus’, a community-based 501c (3) nonprofit organization, mission is to provide access to fit and affordable housing for all citizens of low to moderate income.  NeighborWorks® Columbus’ vision and deep commitment remains to improve the quality of life through the elimination of substandard housing and the revitalization of target neighborhoods. For more information about NeighborWorks® Columbus and its services, visit nwcolumbus.org or call 706-324-HOME (4663). 

 

 

Maximum Impact:3 Tips for Getting Ready to go House Hunting

  
  
  
homebuyer education

By Tyler A Snell from Almost There

 

House buying season is just around the corner, which means there’s no time like the present to prepare yourself for the task of house hunting. Here are three tips that will help make the process easier before you even start.

Get Your Budget in Order

It doesn’t matter how much money you make or how much money you have—a budget for how much you can spend on purchasing a house still needs to be made. Budgets are rock hard reminders of what you can and cannot swing financially. Smart people have been known to get in over their heads by overstepping their budgets when house hunting. People have also gotten their hopes too high for a house they know they can’t afford from the start, especially when the mortgage lender tell them they can qualify for more of a house than their budget can really afford.

Setting a budget can be a difficult task, especially when money is already tight, but it’s something every homebuyer needs to do.  The Financial Fitness course at NeighborWorks® Columbus can help you create a budget by categorizing your spending. This course can show you what expenses you need to cut while also helping you tackle your debt. Armed with this information, coming up with the maximum amount you can spend on a new home will be much easier and will benefit you in the long run.

Don’t Be Afraid of Options

Buying a home is, arguably, one of the biggest financial undertakings you’ll encounter in your life. Finding the right home in the right price range can be daunting, especially without some form of help.  NeighborWorks® Columbus has a few options you can look at, including low interest rate loans and affordable down payment assistance programs in Georgia and Alabama. Financial help and guidance can open your eyes to the houses you can truly afford which will make house hunting a better experience for you and your family.  

Keep Stress to a Minimum

Looking for a new home can, and is, for the most part, stressful even before you actually start. You want the best of the best without ever having to compromise or lower your standards. However, like life, searching for a home doesn’t always go the way you plan.

Sometimes it’s hard to look at a place and picture what it could be because, essentially, every house you look at is your future. That, in itself, can bring on the weight of the world. The urge to move, the possibility of competing offers, and time restraints can force you to make a life-altering decision quickly. So stress, no matter the type, price, or location of the houses you’re looking at, will most likely rear its ugly head during this process.

Through the NeighborWorks® HomeOwnership Center you can plan ahead to help lessen the weight of stress. By signing up for pre-purchase counseling you can learn to become homebuyer ready before you even start your house hunting process.  With all of the technical issues taken care of before you start looking, the search for your ideal home will become more straightforward.

If you’re about to start the journey of house hunting, remember that creating a budget, figuring out your options, and keeping your stress levels down can make searching for a new home more enjoyable. Don’t be afraid to seek help and don’t let anxiety dim the pleasure of the process or force you into making decisions you might later regret.

About NeighborWorks Columbus

NeighborWorks® Columbus’, a community-based 501c (3) nonprofit organization, mission is to provide access to fit and affordable housing for all citizens of low to moderate income.  NeighborWorks® Columbus’ vision and deep commitment remains to improve the quality of life through the elimination of substandard housing and the revitalization of target neighborhoods.  For more information about NeighborWorks® Columbus and its services, visit www.nwcolumbus.org

Home Matters: Michael Willis - Natural Reaction to Serve

  
  
  

michael willis, neighborworks, east highlandMichael Willis' first encounter with NeighborWorks® Columbus was as a life-long resident of the East Highland Community.  

"We were getting ready to put a community center in my neighborhood, and NeighborWorks was real instrumental in helping me get building supplies," Willis said. "So I wanted to serve on the Board."  

Nine years later, Willis remains one of the longest-serving members on the NeighborWorks Board of Directors.  

"I really like how they (NeighborWorks) care about the City of Columbus, different communities, how the Board always wants to make a community better, and they work diligently to make that happen," Willis said.

As a long-time member of the board, Willis said he has seen the organization evolve in several ways. He said when he first started working with NeighborWorks, in particular, there was a heavy focus on education programs, which he and his neighborhood benefited from personally.

"They've come in and helped us clean up the community, from picking up trash to helping sponsor programs for us," Willis said. "There was also a slumlord with a set of apartments, and they were real instrumental in getting that taken care of."  

Willis said while there are differences in the work the organization does—like the addition of the Columbus Cottage Program—there isn't much change in what drives the work.  

"I've just seen NeighborWorks evolve from one caring phase to another. As Cathy (Williams, President & CEO), sees a need, she brings it to the board, and we always support her. The staff are some great, wonderful, professional people, and they are good at what they do. "I'm just proud to be a part of it."  

In addition to his work on the board, Willis owns his own business Uptown Mobile Carwash, a venture he started at the age of 31. "I just like a clean car, and I made a business out of it."  

Michael has a 33-year-old son and four grandchildren and attends Antioch Baptist Church.  

About NeighborWorks Columbus

NeighborWorks® Columbus’, a community-based 501c (3) nonprofit organization, mission is to provide access to fit and affordable housing for all citizens of low to moderate income.  NeighborWorks® Columbus’ vision and deep commitment remains to improve the quality of life through the elimination of substandard housing and the revitalization of target neighborhoods.  For more information about NeighborWorks® Columbus and its services, visit www.nwcolumbus.org.

 

 

 

 

 

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