Mayor Cognetti and NeighborWorks Dedicate Parking Lot in West Scranton

The project was managed by NeighborWorks as part of its West Scranton Neighborhood Plan

Scranton Mayor Paige G. Cognetti joined Todd Pousley, Community Development Manager at NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania, to dedicate a new City-owned parking lot in West Scranton at the corner of N. Main Avenue and Price Street. As a part of NeighborWorks’ West Scranton Neighborhood Plan, the project was managed by the non-profit organization and will serve nearby small businesses while improving the safety and aesthetic of West Scranton’s business district.

“We know how important parking availability is to small businesses, and our team is focused on increasing West Scranton’s economic vitality,” Mayor Cognetti said. “The improvements to this parking lot work toward this vision and set an example for other lots in the City.”

The parking lot has been transformed with pavement resurfacing and striping, additions of concrete curbs and islands, decorative fencing, landscaping, upgraded lighting, and the installation of a “West Scranton Business District” monument sign.

The West Scranton Neighborhood Plan is NeighborWorks’ comprehensive, 10-year development strategy for improving the West Scranton neighborhood. In partnership with the City and other community partners, the plan focuses on park improvements, walkability, business support, and building community identity.

“This dedication celebration highlights our efforts over the past year and a half to bring this lot to residents and revitalize the neighborhood,” Pousley said. “We are grateful for our continued partnership with the City to revitalize West Scranton.”

This project was funded through a combination of dollars from the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and a Keystone Communities Implementation Grant, administered by Pennsylvania’s Department of Community & Economic Development. The parking lot received $125,000 in CDBG funds and $50,000 from the Keystone Communities Program.

NeighborWorks NEPA Receives Multiple Awards

NeighborWorks Northeastern PA (NeighborWorks) was honored with two awards at the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s (PHFA) housing counseling awards ceremony in Harrisburg on October 18, 2023. NeighborWorks won the Community Partnership Award, and Pamela Anslinger, HomeOwnership Center Manager at NeighborWorks, received the Best Housing Counseling Specialist award.

The Best Housing Counseling Specialist Award recognizes counselors who provide value-added housing counseling services to their clients. Agencies are encouraged to submit nominations for their counselors who have completed all PHFA-based training prior to the nomination.

Pam was selected based on her experience in the housing counseling industry, holding National Housing Counseling Certifications, consistently achieving outcomes such as “purchased home” or mortgages refinanced,” consistently receiving positive feedback from her clients, and initiating innovative ways for NeighborWorks to achieve desired results or improve efficiency in workflows.

“I am deeply honored and grateful to receive this award from PHFA. This recognition is a testament to the dedication of our team at NeighborWorks and the incredible clients we have the privilege to serve,” said Pam. “It is our mission to empower individuals and families to make informed housing decisions, and I am proud to be part of this transformative journey.”

The Community Partnership Award recognizes an agency whose outreach efforts to local community organizations have helped improve its program effectiveness and delivery. Selection criteria is based on the structure of the partnerships, how the partnerships enhances ability to provide quality counseling, the impact the partnerships have on the number of clients counseled, and client success stories that occurred as a result of the partnerships.

We also wish to congratulate all of our fellow award recipients, including our fellow NeighborWorks America and NeighborWorks Association of Pennsylvania member agencies in NeighborWorks Western Pennsylvania and Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Berks.

Housing counselors from across the state attended the ceremony, representing 63 counseling agencies. These counselors help PHFA achieve its housing mission by assisting state residents with questions about homeownership, home foreclosure, budgeting, personal money management, and their personal credit score so they can make better informed housing decisions

NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania Holds SafetyWorks Week for Seniors

NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania (NWNEPA) will serve 30 older adult homeowners in West Scranton with much needed interior and exterior painting and small repairs throughout Lackawanna County as part of SafetyWorks Week for Seniors, July 3th – 7th, 2023.

More than 200 volunteers will be coming from all over the northern portion of the United States through a partnership between NeighborWorks and Group Mission Trips, Inc. to make the weeklong event possible. As NeighborWorks has recently kicked off West Side Scranton’s ten-year plan to increase livability in the area, the focus of the volunteer work for the week will be the West Scranton community.

Throughout the week volunteers will provide exterior painting to whole homes, window frames and porches and steps. Interior painting of kitchens, dining rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms will spruce up older homes adding value and increasing the quality of life for older adults who can no longer tend to their homes safely.

NeighborWorks has hosted Group Mission Trips, Inc. volunteers for seven previous workcamps, mobilizing 2,158 volunteers, equating to approximately 50,000 hours of volunteer labor (worth over $1.4 million) to make needed repairs to over 320 separate properties in Lackawanna County. This year Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, along with Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging, donated funds to provide the materials for the volunteers to use while serving the older adults in Scranton.

NeighborWorks NEPA Awards Home Improvement Grants

NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania is pleased to partner with both the City of Scranton and the City of Carbondale to announce the block groups selected for funding in the 2023 Beautiful Blocks program cycle.

With a total of 103 properties in Scranton and 34 properties in Carbondale being awarded grant funding, NeighborWorks staff and local officials expect to see a significant positive impact in neighborhoods where projects are set to take place. A full list of groups receiving funding is attached to this release.

Beautiful Blocks is a home improvement program which provides matching grants of up to $1,000 per property to groups of residents to help them make exterior improvements to their homes. 2023 represents the fifth consecutive program cycle in Scranton for Beautiful Blocks, with the program entering its third consecutive cycle in Carbondale after launching in the Pioneer City in 2021.

Members of selected groups have until November 1 to complete their individual exterior home improvement projects, with groups also eligible for a $500 stipend to conduct a community celebration or service project.

According to NeighborWorks President & CEO Jesse Ergott, “Beautiful Blocks is all about bringing people together to improve the neighborhoods they call home. We are thrilled that the program is resonating with so many of our neighbors in both Scranton and Carbondale and are greatly appreciative of all of the funding partners who help to make it happen. We are looking forward to continued growth of this program in both communities as we facilitate both physical improvements to homes and strengthened connections between neighbors.”

“It is so exciting to see our residents working as a team making improvements to their home and their neighborhoods,” said Michele Bannon, Carbondale City Clerk and former board chair for NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania. “Year two of Beautiful Blocks has made a tremendous impact on the City. Each year the program is growing bringing more homeowners together. It’s amazing to see the impact of committed, empowered homeowners on our community.”

Beautiful Blocks in Carbondale is made possible with support from Lackawanna County Commissioners Jerry Notarianni, Debi Domenick, Esq., and Chris Chermak; with additional support from Millennium Packaging, Coterra Energy, Gentex, and other local businesses.

“It’s inspiring to see the improvements made to our neighborhoods thanks to Beautiful Blocks
program and out community-minded residents,” said Scranton Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti.
“We’re thankful to the team at NeighborWorks and their volunteers who work with us to make
Scranton a beautiful place to live.”

Beautiful Blocks in Scranton is made possible with support from the City of Scranton, with
additional support from Community Bank, NA, The Dime Bank, M&T Bank, and The Honesdale
National Bank.

Over the first four cycles of Beautiful Blocks in the City of Scranton, more than 340 individual
projects have been completed by Scranton residents, grouped into 45 block groups. More than
$287,000 in grant funding has been distributed to as part of these projects, with participating
residents contributing more than $735,000 in matching funds to improving their neighborhoods.

In the first two years of the Beautiful Blocks program operating in Carbondale, seven groups of
neighbors have participated, with more than $37,000 in grant funding awarded. This grant
funding helped to leverage more than $66,000 in funds invested from participating
homeowners.

Residents of Scranton and Carbondale who are interested in participating in future cycles of
the Beautiful Blocks program are encouraged to access more information by visiting the
program homepage at https:// www.nwnepa.org/programs/beautiful-blocks.html. More
information is also available by contacting Gerard Hetman, NeighborWorks Northeastern
Pennsylvania Community Development Specialist, at (570) 558-2490 or
ghetman@nwnepa.org.

The Dime Bank donated $10,000.00 to NeighborWorks NEPA

Lackawanna County, PA / April 7, 2023 / Earlier this year, The Dime Bank donated $10,000.00 to NeighborWorks Northeastern PA via the Neighborhood Assistance Program. NeighborWorks rejuvenates neighborhoods and creates opportunities for individuals and families to improve their lives through quality housing and financial guidance.

This donation will support the 2023 Scranton Beautiful Blocks Program. The program provides matching grants of up to $1,000.00 to each member of a group of at least five Scranton residents to help them make exterior improvements to their homes. Grants are awarded annually through a competitive application process.

“We want to sincerely thank The Dime Bank for their generous contribution towards this year’s Beautiful Blocks Program in Scranton,” said Jesse Ergott, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania President & CEO. “We are grateful for their commitment to making a positive impact in our community and beyond.”

“As a community bank, The Dime Bank is proud to partner with NeighborWorks and contribute to their efforts of revitalizing neighborhoods and building community connections. We are excited to be part of their Beautiful Blocks Program that encourages teamwork among neighbors and invests in property improvement,” stated William Boyle, The Dime Bank Senior Vice President Chief Lending Officer.

About The Dime Bank

The Dime Bank is committed to being involved in and contributing to our community’s development. If you are passionate about your future, choose The Dime Bank as your financial partner. Serving its primary market of Northeast Pennsylvania since 1905, the bank offers a full array of financial services and solutions. Community banking yields community benefits. Dimeco, Inc., parent company of The Dime Bank, trades on the OTCQX Marketplace under symbol DIMC. For more information on The Dime Bank, visit www.thedimebank.com.

About NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania

NeighborWorks is a nonprofit organization that has worked for more than 40 years to increase the financial stability of families and individuals by providing programs and services that create and preserve responsible homeownership and affordable housing throughout the City of Scranton, Lackawanna County and Northeastern Pennsylvania. With programs including homeownership coaching and education, aging in place, home renovation services, and neighborhood revitalization initiatives, NeighborWorks is deeply ingrained in the community. More information about NeighborWorks can be found at www.nwnepa.org.

Pictured: Brian C. Urbas, The Dime Bank Vice President Commercial Lending Officer; William R. Boyle, The Dime Bank Senior Vice President Chief Lending Officer; Jessica L. Capwell, The Dime Bank Assistant Vice President Steamtown Branch Manager; Jesse Ergott, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania President & CEO; Maurice E. Dennis, The Dime Bank Vice President Commercial Lending Officer.

NeighborWorks Receives Contribution

NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania (NeighborWorks) recently accepted a contribution from The Dime Bank (Dime), in the amount of $10,000 through the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development’s Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP).
The contribution will support the Scranton Beautiful Blocks Program for 2023. Beautiful Blocks, which is jointly sponsored by NeighborWorks and the City of Scranton, provides matching grants of up to $1,000 to each member of a group of at least five Scranton residents to help them make exterior improvements to their homes. Grants are awarded annually through a competitive application process.
“As a community bank, The Dime Bank is proud to partner with NeighborWorks and contribute to their efforts of revitalizing neighborhoods and building community connections. We are excited to be part of their Beautiful Blocks program that encourages team work among neighbors and invests in property improvement,” stated William Boyle, The Dime Bank Senior Vice President, Chief Lending Officer.
“We want to sincerely thank The Dime Bank for their generous contribution towards this year’s Beautiful Blocks program in Scranton,” said Jesse Ergott, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania President & CEO. “We are grateful for their commitment to making a positive impact in our community and beyond.”

The Dime Bank Supports NeighborWorks NEPA

Earlier this year, The Dime Bank donated $10,000.00 to NeighborWorks Northeastern PA via the Neighborhood Assistance Program.

NeighborWorks rejuvenates neighborhoods and creates opportunities for individuals and families to improve their lives through quality housing and financial guidance. This donation supports the 2022 Carbondale Beautiful Blocks Program. The program provides matching grants of up to $1,000.00 per property to groups of five residents or more to help them make exterior home improvements.

“We are excited to partner with NeighborWorks to not only improve the appearance of neighborhoods but to build community connections between neighbors as they work together through this program” stated The Dime Bank Vice President of Marketing Deborah Unflat. “Being a community bank, The Dime Bank is honored to give back and help make our region a better place to live and work.”

We are extremely grateful for The Dime Bank’s generous support of the Carbondale Beautiful Blocks Program” said Shane Powers, Chief Operations Officer at NeighborWorks. “Their investment highlights the bank’s strong commitment to investing in our community in a tangible way that empowers our neighbors and brightens up our neighborhoods.”

NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania SafetyWorks Week for Seniors

NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania (NWNEPA) served 47 older adult homeowners with much needed home repairs and improvements throughout Lackawanna County as part of SafetyWorks Week for Seniors, formerly NeighborWorks Week, July 4th – 8th, 2022.

After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 300 volunteers will be coming from all over the northern portion of the United States through a partnership between NeighborWorks and Group Mission Trips, Inc. to make the weeklong event possible.

Throughout the week, repairs and improvements will include installation of exterior solar lights, exterior painting, weatherization, landscaping, porch repair, as well as installing wheelchair ramps. Each of the homes being provided services are headed by older adults, many of whom rely on volunteers and organizations like NeighborWorks to assist with repairs and modifications to increase their health and safety, allowing them to be able to continue residing in their homes and communities.

NeighborWorks has hosted Group Mission Trips, Inc. volunteers for seven previous workcamps, mobilizing 1,858 volunteers, equating to approximately 50,000 hours of volunteer labor (worth over $1.4 million) to make needed repairs to over 280 separate properties in Lackawanna County

Run for the Roses to Benefit NeighborWorks

This year, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania is partnering with The Country Club of Scranton to be the benefiting organization of their Kentucky Derby Party – Run for the Roses. A portion of the event ticket and 50/50 raffle proceeds benefits NeighborWorks. It will be held on May 7, 2022 from 5-8pm at the Country Club of Scranton.

For over 14 years, Run for the Roses has emulated the festivities present at the Kentucky Derby. Complete with multiple areas to view the live broadcast of the horse race, passed hors d’oeuvres and an outdoor venue, it celebrates the 185-year-old race held at Churchill Downs racetrack. Event goers are encouraged to dress up in “Derby attire” complete with large hats, bow ties and colorful sun dresses and suits.

The event will feature food, an open bar, cigar lounge & bourbon bar, derby drink features and a 50/50 raffle.

Pre-registration is $85 per person, and non-members can pre-register with a credit card by May 2, 2022. To make a reservation, call 570-586-2311 by May 2, 2022. For more information on the event, please go to the country club’s website here.