Bend-Redmond Habitat for Humanity, community partners to hold credit-building workshops –

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Bend-Redmond Habitat for Humanity is hosting a series of upcoming Credit Building Workshops. By partnering with the Latino Community Association, The Father’s Group and NeighborImpact, they hope to provide credit building and debt reduction for historically underserved communities.

Participants attend one in-person workshop which introduces key concepts around credit and debt management. Then, they have three individual follow up appointments over about a year.

The program is designed to be culturally specific and recognize that credit, debt, and budgeting skills have not been equitable with access or training for all populations. It was made possible through a grant from the Central Oregon Health Council.

“We work with families and individuals to make homeownership a reality,” said DeeDee Johnson, VP of Homeowner Services at Bend-Redmond Habitat for Humanity.

Credit is not only a barrier toward buying a home, but also affects loan interest rates, insurance rates, and even employment.

“We work with any interested clients on credit building year-round,” Johnson said, “and this is a great opportunity to work with culturally specific organizations. Our aim is to build financial literacy, stability, and self-sufficiency in Central Oregon, ultimately impacting health and well-being.”

This project provides valuable education around credit building and debt reduction and hopes to empower Black and Latino communities into economic stability and self-sufficiency.

“Credit is a game we’re all playing, but nobody ever told us the rules. By understanding the rules and how to manage credit, people are empowered,” said Jeff Belzer, HomeSource Financial Capability Manager at NeighborImpact. “Using credit wisely improves financial health, saves lots of money, and gives opportunities for larger financial goals, which in terms helps with overall health & happiness.”

Catalina Frank of Latino Community Association described the importance of understanding credit: “Most of us get our credit score from our banking apps, but do not know much as to what it means or how it affects our home loan pre-qualification process. Attending a credit workshop, like the one offered by Habitat for Humanity, is a great resource to take control of our debt, understand loan qualification requirements and create a plan towards future asset building goals like owning our first home.”

Anyone interested in participating in the workshops should email

Upcoming Workshops:

  • Thursday, April 13th with Latino Community Association
    • 5:45 pm at the East Bend Library
  • Monday, April 24th with The Father’s Group
    • 5:30pm at The Haven

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