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Maximum Impact: The 10 Most Affordable Rental Markets in The USA

  
  
  

Source:  http://EasyTenantScreening.com

As the economy contracted earlier this month, we’re reminded that the effects of the Great Recession are still being felt. Home ownership is down, incomes are down, and more and more people are renting. We decided to help out our fellow Americans by putting together a list of the most affordable housing in Columbus to rent and nationwide.

Using HUD Fair Market Rents, Gross Family Income, Data from the American Housing Survey and the National Low Income Housing Coalition, we look at where rents will take the least chunk out of your salary. Our listing methodology is based on the % of Gross Income a 1 Bedroom apartment will take out of your total salary. The lower, the better. We defined a Metro as an area with at least 100,000 households and 33% of the population renting.

Surprisingly,  some  of the metros that met our criteria were on either coast of the USA.  Also surprising is the average median income for the area, and the purchasing power those dollars provided. It makes sense to live in cheaper areas in more ways then one. Ohio is by the most affordable state, with nearly all of its metro areas making our list.

Without further ado, here are the results:

1. Lincoln, Nebraska.

Nebraska’s Capital has the 2nd largest capitol building. What’s more attractive  is its 2% unemployment rate, a strong rental economy (over 40% rent in Lincoln), and only 30% of gross income will afford you a nice 1 bedroom apartment.

 2. Cincinnati, Ohio

The Third largest city in Ohio and the Home of the Reds, with about 5.7% unemployment. 33% of a gross family income is all you need for a 1 bedroom.

3. Toledo, Ohio

Yet another major metro area in Ohio. The only worrisome aspect for us was the higher unemployment in Toledo then the rest of the state.  Gross income  % required: 33%.

4. Springfield, Missouri

The third largest city in Missouri includes 5 counties, and is the deathplace of John Gotti. Unemployment runs 5.1%, and you’ll need 33% of your gross income to rent a 1 BR.

5. Lexington, Kentucky

With a very healthy 4% unemployment rate, the second largest city in Kentucky will keep you employed and saving.

Gross income for a 1BR: 35%

6. Wichita, Kansas

Perhaps better known for Tornadoes and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Wichita is actually the largest city in Kansas. With 5.3% unemployment and 386,000 people living there, you’re sure to find something affordable. 35% of your income is what’s needed for an apartment.

7.Columbus, Ohio

Ohio’s Capital, it’s most populous city and home to Ohio State University, it has it all. 4.3% unemployment and a very reasonable 35% of gross income for a large metro.

8. Omaha, Nebraska

Warren Buffet’s home town is, by all accounts, a great place to live. What definitely helps is the 3.0% unemployment rate. Percentage of gross income: 35%

Our last two entries shocked us. We didn’t really think anything from either coast would make it in, but none the less they did. Although placing Buffalo on the east coast is a bit of a stretch, we’ll try it anyway.

9.Spokane, Washington

The one thing you need to be careful about in Spokane is its unemployment rate. Close to 8.4% makes us wary about moving there. The affordability for those who live there, however, is very fair. Close to 35% for a one bedroom.

10. Buffalo, New York

Known for its cold, long winters and declining economy, Buffalo is cheap to live if you have a job. 7.3% rate of unemployment makes it somewhat unattractive, but the affordability for those who do have a job is the best in all of New York, only 36%.

Nonprofits Collaborate to Revitalize Beallwood Community

  
  
  

Big 4 Beallwoodby Holli Melancon

More than 20 years ago, Beallwood neighborhood residents and community leaders worked to make the area one of the safest in the city. Now, NeighborWorks® Columbus is leading an effort to make it one of the prettiest.

Big 4 Beallwood is a neighborhood revitalization project, where several agencies will come together this summer to make an impact in the community through new construction, rehabilitation and landscaping projects.

NeighborWorks, TEAMeffort and Columbus Area Habitat for Humanity will all be doing various projects in the neighborhood starting this month in honor of NeighborWorks Week and National Homeownership Month.

Plans include rehabilitation and new construction of several homes. Late last month, staff and volunteers from NeighborWorks spent time mapping homes in the Beallwood neighborhood in preparation for the summer's work.

As part of this system, every home was documented, photographed and surveyed about its condition as well as if the home is rented or owned. Some of the areas of note were whether the home needed any repairs, the condition of the lot, exterior characteristics like broken windows or doors or peeling paint, roof characteristics and the condition of porches, when applicable.

All of the owner-occupied properties were loaded to a database in which NeighborWorks staff determined which homes needed rehabilitation, said Rhonda Walters, Operations & Compliance Specialist.

Each component of NeighborWorks Columbus will be serving the Beallwood Community in some way through this effort. The Homeownership Center will be in the area teaching classes; the Rehabilitation program will complete renovations on one or more homes; and the Rebuilding Columbus Program will take on a cottage in the neighborhood. NeighborWorks also hopes to build six duplexes (a total of 12 units) for seniors and two new single family homes.

With the completed mapping, NeighborWorks has assigned 12 home renovation projects to TEAMeffort, an agency through whom church youth groups can sign up to do week-long mission work throughout the summer. Starting in June, around 50-75 students from across the country will be traveling to the city to take part in this effort.

And finally, Columbus Area Habitat for Humanity will be building four new homes at the same time.

Something that makes this project even more exciting is the rich history of the Beallwood Community. This neighborhood is a prime example of community action at work.

In 1994, the Beallwood Area Neighborhood Development, Inc. (B.A.N.D.) was formed in an effort to "take back the streets" from drug dealers and users in the community.

"There was a time where every Thursday night my husband and I would sit on corners with police officers watching for drug deals," said Vicky Partin, co-founder of the Chattahoochee Valley Episcopal Ministry, who had a large hand in starting B.A.N.D.

Through the years, B.A.N.D. has accomplished things like getting their properties rezoned to residential, after they were wrongfully zoned commercial without the residents' knowledge; they have driven out much of the drug use; held neighborhood cleanups; had enhancement programs for children; started a community garden; attended Leadership Academy classes held by the city.

"There are wonderful stories about Beallwood all around," Vicky said.

Annie Slaughter, a resident of Beallwood for 40 years who has been a member of B.A.N.D. recalls some of the struggle to have a safe place to live.

"We had to fight hard to keep it," she said.

This will be an exciting summer in Beallwood. If you would like more information on Big 4 Beallwood or want to join the effort, call Wanda Y. Jenkins at 706.324.HOME (4663).

docs/B4B Event Flyer 3.0.pdf

 

 

Keywords: Beallwood, Big 4 Beallwood, achieving results, neighborhood revitalization, giving back to your community, Home Ownership, home renovation, TEAMeffort, Columbus Area Habitat for Humanity

Maximum Impact: No Two Cottages are the Same

  
  
  

columbus cottage #7Behind every home is a story. Columbus Cottage No. 7 is no different.

It is the seventh home that NeighborWorks Columbus has been able to gift to an elderly resident in need, ensuring she can live safely and comfortably the rest of her life. That’s how this cottage is the same as the six before it.

But in so many ways, the home of 84-year-old Edna Reeves, the wife of a deceased Navy veteran and mill worker, is unique.

Perhaps one of the greatest parts of the story of Mrs. Reeve’s home is how it became a part of the Cottage Program. Mrs. Reeves applied for assistance through House of Heroes, a nonprofit that does small-scale rehab projects on homes of Veterans and Veteran spouses.

“We came out last September and looked at the home, and it was just way beyond our scope,” said John Teeples, House of Heroes Board Member. “We reached out to NeighborWorks Columbus and they acted quite quickly.”

For 50 years Mrs. Reeves had been living in this home, and by the time it reached NeighborWorks, it was dilapidated and floors and ceilings were caving in.

While House of Heroes could not do the repairs alone, the organization partnered with NeighborWorks to make the project come to life, particularly in supplying volunteers.

“We took out all the old decay. We opened the windows up and started bringing some life into this house,” Teeples said.

Typically, the Columbus Cottage Program recipients have had one person residing in the home. Mrs. Reeve’s shares her home with three other relatives.

This Bibb City home is also unique in that rather than completely tearing down the home, it was gutted and rehabilitated.

“The extreme difference is the lot size. It’s smaller, so it was almost impossible to tear it down,” said Joshua Vaughn, project manager for NeighborWorks.

Vaughn said the outside of the home was rebuilt to look exactly like it had before, but the inside is completely new, something evident on the faces of Mrs. Reeves and her family as they got to see their home for the first time this week.

“It’s like a dream come true. I love every one of you,” Reeves said to the crowd gathered at the Cottage Key Ceremony. “You’ve been so good to us. I’ve never come into anything as good as this.”

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, five cottages have been built for well indigent 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.  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.

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 assists to 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: We Remember

  
  
  

maximum impact, day of servicephoto credit freeimpages.com

by Holli Melancon

Where were you on September 11, 2001?

This is a question I get asked a lot on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks. And unlike most dates of life, I can clearly recall exactly what I was doing.

I was a sophomore in high school, and I remember the whole school day just stopped. Classrooms were now tuned to national news and lesson plans went out the window. At the time, my understanding of exactly what was going on was very vague, but I knew that what was happening was history.

It didn’t take me long to learn just how significant it all was, and while there are so many things about that day—the loss, the destruction, the heartache—there are also some incredibly beautiful stories that have come from this tragedy.

Stories of people laying down their lives to save others. Stories of final moments. Stories of people who dropped everything to help in whatever way they could.

It was far from an ideal scenario, but the way Americans responded showed our country’s true colors.

In 2002, the 9/11 nonprofit  MyGoodDeed launched what would later be officially recognized as the National Day of Service and Remembrance to commemorate “the 9/11 victims, survivors and those who rose up in service in response to the attacks.” (From Serve.gov)

Today, we are reminded, not only of all the events surrounding 9/11, but also of the great service that has come from that day. This type of service is what we rely on at NeighborWorks® Columbus. It’s how we are able to do the work we do, and there really aren’t enough ways to express that gratitude adequately.

In fact, we find it very fitting that our Cottage Committee is meeting at the construction site of the cottage today. The members of the committee for the Columbus Cottage No. 7 are truly the embodiment of service. They give of their time, talent and resources to literally make this project come to life.

Currently, Cottage No. 7 is under construction. The home belongs to Ms. Edna Reeves and her family and when it’s all said and done, she will have a safe, comfortable home environment to spend the rest of her life in.

This type of work truly changes lives. Therefore, today, on this National Day of Service and Remembrance, we especially thank the members of the Cottage Committee:

Susan

Berry

Community Leader

Adrian

Chester

Greater Beallwood Baptist Church

Brad

Clements

Abbott, Jordan & Koon CPAs

Charmaine

Crabb

Board Member, NeighborWorks® Columbus

Belva

Dorsey

Enrichment Services; Board Member, NeighborWorks® Columbus

Tim

Farmer

Board Chair, NeighborWorks® Columbus

David

Fox

Executive Vice President - Real Estate, NeighborWorks® Columbus

Barbara

Fuller

Doubletree Hotel

Elaine

Gillispie

Congressman Sanford Bishop

Derrick

Greene

Clear Channel

Nancy

Holland

Piggly Wiggly Stores

Wanda Y.

Jenkins

Marketing & Communications Specialist, NeighborWorks® Columbus

Danae

Lacy-Watts

Gentiva Home Health/Hospice

Susan

Milligan

Community Leader

Zenobia

Penn

Community Leader

Chris

Phillips

Alfa Insurance

Wanda

Rutledge

Kinetic Credit Union

Sharon

Scruggs

Community Leader

Gail

Simpson

River Valley Regional Development

Steven

Thompson

High Definition Media

Judith

Tucker

Columbus Consolidated Government

Joshua

Vaughn

Project Manager, NeighborWorks® Columbus

Cynthia

Walker

Habitat for Humanity

Rhonda

Walters

Operations & Compliance Specialist, NeighborWorks® Columbus

Rebecca

Wiggins

Community Leader

Cathy

Williams

President/CEO, NeighborWorks® Columbus

Randalette

Williams

Board Member, NeighborWorks® Columbus

Susan

Wood

House of Heroes, Inc.

 

Thank you, a thousand times over for your dedicated service not just today but every day.

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 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).

columbus cottage 

 

 

Holli Melancon

chasingthere.com

Keywords: Columbus Cottage Program, 9/11, National Day of Service and Remembrance, Cottage No. 7, Cottage Campaign, Volunteers, Volunteering in Columbus Ga

Back to School: Children of Homeowners Show Higher Academic Results

  
  
  
template three bg back to school resized 600

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

  
  
  
NationalNightOut2014 resized 600

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

  
  
  

donatenow resized 600

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.

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