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Empowering Montanans in 2021

The importance of financial stability and security of a home one can afford has always been essential to the strength of our communities. The pandemic underpinned that with intensity. Never has it been more clear that, for the health and strength of our communities, Montanans must be able to afford their homes and make wise financial decisions. You allow us to offer hope and help so Montanans can create brighter futures for themselves, their families and their communities. Thank you! The pandemic accelerated social and economic trends that were already underway. One result is the dramatic shift in our real estate markets across Montana. Rentals and homes for sale are becoming more competitive and costly. Homes they can afford are getting further out of reach for everyday working Montanans. Fortunately, with your help our programs expanded in the past year, becoming virtual during the pandemic. Financial Skill Building class participants are not only in Missoula, but in 33 communities across the state! Nearly 50 people per month take our online Homebuyer Education class. Graduates of our homebuyer program have purchased their first homes in the past year. They’ve worked through many challenges, sticking with their plans over longer periods of time, and have been successful. Your support empowered over 1,200 people last year through our virtual HomeOwnership Center programs to build their financial skills, advocate for their rental situations and determine their ability to purchase homes of their own. Graduates of our Financial Skill Building program told us that they were [...]

March 16, 2021|

Reflection and Giving Thanks

Reflection and Giving Thanks As we approach the holiday season, we do so with hope and appreciation for all we have in our lives. Homeword has traditionally reflected on the Thanksgiving holiday as a time to demonstrate our gratitude for the support from the greater community that makes our work possible. We recognize what Montanans have accomplished by accessing homes they can afford and through education they’ve obtained so they can navigate their financial choices. This year we created our annual Thanksgiving Cards, telling the heartwarming story of how Becky found her home and what it means to her and her family. Then a friend shared with us that they are distancing themselves from the traditional Thanksgiving holiday because of its roots in the oppression of Native Americans. This caused us to pause and to reflect on our actions and our intentions. We acknowledge that celebration of Thanksgiving can be hurtful to Indigenous people. Unlearning what we’ve known from the time we were kindergarteners and relearning about historic events of violence and oppression against Native Americans invites us to recognize the truth about intergenerational trauma that impacts tribal communities and Indigenous people today. What do we do with this disturbing historical record? We can’t change the past. But we can help shape our shared future by learning, listening and striving to be part of a collective healing. I started writing this blog from the comfort of my kitchen when it was 15 degrees outside. Some of our neighbors slept on that [...]

November 25, 2020|

Financial Resilience – Increase Your Cash

Financial Resilience - Increase Your Cash Katie Sadowski, our Financial Educator, compiled these tips to help you increase your cash and boost your financial resilience. Sell something - Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist or consignment stores are all good local options. Look around to see if there are any household items you don’t use anymore. Return recent purchases - Consider those needs versus wants, and if you made any recent purchases that you don’t need consider returning. Cut living expenses - Track spending and cut down Think about getting a trusted roommate if possible No income requirements to use the Missoula Food Bank Ask for an employer advance - You don’t know what is possible till you ask! Apply for a credit card - Having a credit card for emergencies is better than an unacceptable high interest pay day loan (can be up to 600% APR). See if you qualify for a credit card if you don’t already have one. Explore options with no or low fees and keep your balance below 30% so you don’t negatively impact your credit. Shop Credit Cards by category. Look for a second job - Especially right now, some folks are dealing with job suspension due to restaurant and bar closures. Check out your local grocery stores as many of them are dealing with a huge influx of customers and need support. Also, contact your local temp agency to see if anyone is hiring. File your tax return. Montana property tax assistance helps homeowners on a fixed [...]

May 26, 2020|

Empowering Montanans in 2021

The importance of financial stability and security of a home one can afford has always been essential to the strength of our communities. The pandemic underpinned that with intensity. Never has it been more clear that, for the health and strength of our communities, Montanans must be able to afford their homes and make wise financial decisions. You allow us to offer hope and help so Montanans can create brighter futures for themselves, their families and their communities. Thank you! The pandemic accelerated social and economic trends that were already underway. One result is the dramatic shift in our real estate markets across Montana. Rentals and homes for sale are becoming more competitive and costly. Homes they can afford are getting further out of reach for everyday working Montanans. Fortunately, with your help our programs expanded in the past year, becoming virtual during the pandemic. Financial Skill Building class participants are not only in Missoula, but in 33 communities across the state! Nearly 50 people per month take our online Homebuyer Education class. Graduates of our homebuyer program have purchased their first homes in the past year. They’ve worked through many challenges, sticking with their plans over longer periods of time, and have been successful. Your support empowered over 1,200 people last year through our virtual HomeOwnership Center programs to build their financial skills, advocate for their rental situations and determine their ability to purchase homes of their own. Graduates of our Financial Skill Building program told us that they were [...]

March 16, 2021|

Reflection and Giving Thanks

Reflection and Giving Thanks As we approach the holiday season, we do so with hope and appreciation for all we have in our lives. Homeword has traditionally reflected on the Thanksgiving holiday as a time to demonstrate our gratitude for the support from the greater community that makes our work possible. We recognize what Montanans have accomplished by accessing homes they can afford and through education they’ve obtained so they can navigate their financial choices. This year we created our annual Thanksgiving Cards, telling the heartwarming story of how Becky found her home and what it means to her and her family. Then a friend shared with us that they are distancing themselves from the traditional Thanksgiving holiday because of its roots in the oppression of Native Americans. This caused us to pause and to reflect on our actions and our intentions. We acknowledge that celebration of Thanksgiving can be hurtful to Indigenous people. Unlearning what we’ve known from the time we were kindergarteners and relearning about historic events of violence and oppression against Native Americans invites us to recognize the truth about intergenerational trauma that impacts tribal communities and Indigenous people today. What do we do with this disturbing historical record? We can’t change the past. But we can help shape our shared future by learning, listening and striving to be part of a collective healing. I started writing this blog from the comfort of my kitchen when it was 15 degrees outside. Some of our neighbors slept on that [...]

November 25, 2020|

Financial Resilience – Increase Your Cash

Financial Resilience - Increase Your Cash Katie Sadowski, our Financial Educator, compiled these tips to help you increase your cash and boost your financial resilience. Sell something - Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist or consignment stores are all good local options. Look around to see if there are any household items you don’t use anymore. Return recent purchases - Consider those needs versus wants, and if you made any recent purchases that you don’t need consider returning. Cut living expenses - Track spending and cut down Think about getting a trusted roommate if possible No income requirements to use the Missoula Food Bank Ask for an employer advance - You don’t know what is possible till you ask! Apply for a credit card - Having a credit card for emergencies is better than an unacceptable high interest pay day loan (can be up to 600% APR). See if you qualify for a credit card if you don’t already have one. Explore options with no or low fees and keep your balance below 30% so you don’t negatively impact your credit. Shop Credit Cards by category. Look for a second job - Especially right now, some folks are dealing with job suspension due to restaurant and bar closures. Check out your local grocery stores as many of them are dealing with a huge influx of customers and need support. Also, contact your local temp agency to see if anyone is hiring. File your tax return. Montana property tax assistance helps homeowners on a fixed [...]

May 26, 2020|
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