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.

Summer AmeriCorps VISTA Positions at NeighborWorks

AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Volunteer

Looking for a fun and meaningful way to spend your summer? NeighborWorks is seeking two responsible, self-motivated individuals to provide 10 weeks of service, June 6 to August 14, 2022, through AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). NeighborWorks is a nonprofit organization that revitalizes neighborhoods and creates opportunities for families to improve their lives through quality housing and financial guidance. VISTA Summer Associates are an integral part of our dedicated, hardworking team, which is devoted to bringing low-income individuals and communities out of poverty.

About the Position

  • Coordinating volunteer home repair projects
  • Installing home safety kits for seniors
  • Attending community events
  • Coordinating neighborhood and park cleanups
  • Maintaining vacant lots
  • Picking up litter along main commercial corridors
  • Documenting quality of life issues (property code violations, missing street signs, etc.)
  • Gathering stories from residents in written, audio, and video formats

This position requires a commitment to serve as a full-time team member for a 10-week period this summer. Although this is a non-salaried volunteer position, VISTA Summer Associates receive a bi-weekly living allowance of $575.40 and are eligible for an education award or cash stipend at the end of their term of service. For more information about the AmeriCorps VISTA program, visit americorps.gov.

Qualifications

  • U.S. citizen at least 18 years of age
  • Ability to work independently on a variety of projects and lead others in service activities
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Basic computer skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Office
  • Valid driver’s license and privately owned vehicle for service-related travel

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted until May 2, 2022, or until the positions are filled. To apply, email your resume to Todd Pousley, Neighborhood Revitalization Manager, at tpousley@nwnepa.org.

Beautiful Blocks Program Open for Applications

Applications are now being accepted for the second year of Beautiful
Blocks in the City of Carbondale.
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. After a successful inaugural cycle in Carbondale, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania is pleased to once again partner with the City of Carbondale to offer Beautiful Blocks to residents of the Pioneer City.

The Beautiful Blocks program seeks to make neighborhoods throughout Carbondale more attractive places to live. Eligible exterior improvements include everything from painting and mailboxes to larger projects like sidewalks and lamp posts. Grants will be awarded through a competitive application process. Applications will be judged on project impact, coordination, and the likelihood of neighbors continuing to work together in the future.

Pre-applications are being accepted until March 21. Awards will be announced in May, with work taking place throughout the summer. Residents must match their grant awards dollar-for-dollar, unless they meet certain income guidelines. Residents whose household income is less than 80% of the area median income are only required to provide a 20% match. For example, if a resident meets these income guidelines and receive the maximum $1,000 grant award, they must personally contribute at least $200 towards their project. Otherwise, participants must match the $1,000 grant with $1,000 of their own funds.

According to NeighborWorks President & CEO Jesse Ergott, “After a successful first year in Carbondale, we look forward to building on the positive impact of Beautiful Blocks to the City of Carbondale. We appreciate the support of our community partners in supporting this program, and encourage Carbondale residents to join with their neighbors in improving their neighborhood through Beautiful Blocks.”

“Mayor Justin Taylor is very excited about getting into our neighborhoods with Beautiful Blocks to create meaningful relationships with our residents, the City of Carbondale, and NeighborWorks NEPA,” Michele Bannon, Carbondale City Clerk and member of the NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania Board of Directors, said of the program’s expansion into Carbondale. “We see that building strong relationships between neighbors allows for a thriving, unified, and safe community dedicated to making Carbondale a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”

In the first year of the Beautiful Blocks program operating in Carbondale, three groups of neighbors participated, with more than $15,000 in grant funding awarded. This grant funding helped to leverage more than $30,000 in funds invested from participating homeowners.Carbondale residents interested in participating in the Beautiful Blocks program can download pre-application instructions and access the pre-application document by visiting the program homepage at https://www.nwnepa.org/programs/beautiful-blocks.html.

More information about NeighborWorks can be found at www.nwnepa.org.

NeighborWorks Welcomes Shane Powers as New Chief Operating Officer

NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania (NeighborWorks) is pleased to announce it has welcomed Shane Powers to its staff for the recently-established Chief Operating Officer position.

NeighborWorks created this new role to enhance its operating capacity and strategy execution as the organization expands its geographic and programmatic reach throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. In addition to serving as a strategic and management partner to the Board, President & CEO and Program Managers, Ms. Powers will lead the day-to-day operations of NeighborWorks.

Prior to joining the NeighborWorks team, Ms. Powers served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Tunkhannock Area School District, where she was responsible for all non-instructional systems in the district, including the Business Office, Facilities, Transportation, Food Service, and Human Resources. Additionally, Ms. Powers previously served as the Site General Manager at DHL Supply Chain, as well as accruing over 15 years of logistical and operational management experience at Procter and Gamble in the Mehoopany, PA plant.

“I’m really excited to get started. The people that I’ve had the opportunity to meet and that I’m starting to work with are truly experts in what they do,” said Shane. “They’re so committed to the work that they’re doing and believe strongly and passionately that the work is really going to benefit the communities in which we serve.”

Ms. Powers currently resides in Tunkhannock with her husband, Christopher and her 3 children.

NeighborWorks NEPA Receives Grant from AllOne Foundation & Charities

NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania (NeighborWorks) is pleased to announce it has received a $100,000 grant from the AllOne Foundation & Charities to be used towards expansion of Aging in Place services. The goal of this program will be to provide resources to help older adults overcome social isolation and health issues.

These funds will be used to increase and expand Aging in Place services with a focus on social isolation prevention. NeighborWorks will additionally be increasing the volunteer opportunities available to older adults through an expansion and reorganization of the volunteer program.

The Aging in Place program has worked with the Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC) through a two-year funding partnership with the Moses Taylor Foundation to recruit, train and support volunteers for the Friendly Visitor/CARE calls program to combat social isolation. This program connects volunteers aged 55 and over with older adults to engage, provide resource connection, virtual activities and someone to connect with.

This program will be modified in the coming year to use recommendations from the larger senior social isolation prevention plan being undertaken by the United Way of Lackawanna & Wayne Counties and funded by the Moses Taylor Foundation. As restrictions continue to lift from the COVID-19 pandemic and individuals become more comfortable interacting with others, NeighborWorks will reorganize and expand volunteer opportunities for civic organizations, community clubs, students, churches, schools, businesses, individuals and families. This is all with a focus on direct service to improve the lives of older adults in the community.

“We are most thankful to the AllOne Foundation for their support as a key partner of our Aging in Place program,” Jesse Ergott, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania President & CEO, said of the award. “Over 400 older adults have received Aging in Place services since the start of the program, and this funding will allow us to make more improvements for older adults in areas that include critical safety modifications, financial coaching, and senior isolation prevention.”

Funds from AllOne Foundation & Charities will be used to serve approximately 225 older adults aged 60 and over who are at or under 80% of their home counties’ area median income. The redesigned NeighborWorks Volunteer Program will increase volunteer opportunities for various projects for older adults including the Friendly Visitor Program, expanded small home repair services and smart home device installation. Over 4,700 volunteers have been deployed by NeighborWorks over the past decade.

“AllOne Foundation & Charities looks to our partners to measurably improve access to health care in our community. The Aging in Place programs offered by NeighborWorks NEPA are an outstanding example of the power of front-line, community-based services directly reaching our senior family members, neighbors and friends. The impact of their innovative, agile and compassionate service is significant,” said John Cosgrove, Executive Director of AllOne Foundation & Charities.”

Additionally, to increase mobility and ability to provide volunteer services to older adults, a cargo van will be purchased through funds acquired by the AllOne Foundation & Charities and co-branded with the foundation.

NeighborWorks Accepts Donation from Community Bank, N.A.

NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania (NeighborWorks) recently accepted a donation from Community Bank, N.A., in the amount of $10,000. The donation will benefit the organization through the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development’s Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP).

The Neighborhood Assistance Program focuses on homebuyer education and foreclosure prevention, helping to strengthen neighborhoods in our community through sustainable home ownership. The program gives businesses up to a 55 percent tax credit if they support programs that serve distressed areas and, in the case of NeighborWorks, advance the cause of affordable housing.

“Community Bank is proud to work with our friends at NeighborWorks to support this important program,” said Alison Zurawski, Community Relations Manager at Community Bank, N.A. “Contributing through the Neighborhood Assistance Program is a wonderful way for us to help improve the lives of our neighbors and to give back to this great community.”

NeighborWorks is always grateful for its faithful NAP partners and newcomers to the program because the funds are crucial to our continuing efforts to serve the underserved in the local community.

“We are thankful to our good friends at Community Bank, N.A., for this very generous donation in support of our Neighborhood Assistance Program,” Jesse Erogtt, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania President & CEO, said of the donation. “Their support of our efforts is much appreciated and will be of great help in our work to empower new and existing homeowners. We look forward to an ongoing partnership.”

NeighborWorks NEPA Receives Grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation

NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania (NeighborWorks) is pleased to announce it has received a $17,000 grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation, managed by the Scranton Area Community Foundation.

These funds support our Community Services Navigator position, which aids clients from our main direct service programs: Aging in Place, Neighborhood Revitalization, and Homeownership & Financial Services. This position provides assistance to older adults in connecting to other social service opportunities, completing applications for assistance and navigating referrals provided.
“We truly appreciate the generous support from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation” said Jesse Ergott, President & CEO. “This grant will allow us to provide more personalized assistance to our neighbors facing challenges with financial and homeownership stability.”

The grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation is one of several funding sources that is being used to increase organizational capacity to establish and maintain the Navigator position. This position ensures the Aging in Place program can continue to provide services to older adults in our community.

The Robert H. Spitz Foundation awards annual grants through a competitive application and review process. NeighborWorks is one of 45 nonprofit grant recipients in Northeastern Pennsylvania to receive funding in the 2021 cycle of grant awards. Priority areas for funding include supporting programs that aim to break the cycle of poverty, remove economic barriers, and encourage independence in adults and children through access to safe, affordable housing, transportation, education, and other important issues.

West Scranton Hometown Heroes Banner Program Open for Applications

Applications are now being accepted for the first full cycle of the Hometown Heroes banner program, an initiative jointly sponsored by NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania and the West Scranton Neighbors Association.

The Hometown Heroes program seeks to honor current and former members of the U.S military who have a connection to West Scranton. Banners will be hung along both Main Avenue, as well as Luzerne Street, in the Spring of 2022.

Family members wishing to honor a loved one for their military service can obtain an application by vising www.nwnepa.org, or by visiting the NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania office at 815 Smith Street, Scranton, PA 18504. The office is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To complete an application, family members must submit a paper copy of the application form to the office, and also provide a photo of the veteran in military uniform, as well as proof of honorable discharge (a DD Form 214 is preferred.)

A cost of $250 per banner is assessed for printing and hanging; a check or money order for the full amount (payable to NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania) must accompany each application at time of submission. Banners will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and will be available until all spots are filled.

The Hometown Heroes banner program was initiated in West Scrantonby a project group from the Leadership Lackawanna Core Program Class of 2021, who organized an initial run of 30 banners. This project is part of the West Scranton Neighborhood Plan, a 10-year strategy for revitalizing West Side. NeighborWorks released the plan in the fall of 2020 and is currently leading its implementation.

Anyone interested in participating in the Hometown Heroes program is asked to contact Deborah DeFazio, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania Front Desk Operations, at (570) 558-2490 or ddefazio@nwnepa.org.