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

Bend-Redmond Habitat for Humanity

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

About Bend-Redmond Habitat for Humanity

Bend-Redmond Habitat builds strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable homeownership for families and individuals in Bend and Redmond.  We are dedicated to changing lives by bringing people together to help make a difference in our communities through affordable housing.  Since 1989, Bend-Redmond Habitat has served 217 families with affordable homeownership and repaired 146 homes, providing more than 1000 children and adults a safe, secure, and healthy home. 541.385.5387  

About NeighborImpact: NeighborImpact is a private non-profit governed by a board of directors drawn from across the community. Since 1985, NeighborImpact has led the region in developing solutions and bringing resources to Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. We help meet the basic needs of Central Oregonians, build economic security and create a community where everyone thrives. NeighborImpact receives federal, state and local grants, foundation grants and donations from individuals and businesses in our community. To learn more about NeighborImpact please visit

About Latino Community Association

The Latino Community Association (LCA) has been connecting Latinos in the Central Oregon region (Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson counties) for 23 years.  LCA’s mission: to empower our Latino families to thrive, creating opportunities for advancement and building bridges that unite and strengthen our communities. We do a little bit of everything.  Our strengths are based on the lived experiences of our staff as related to immigration, the languages and cultures of Latino families in Central Oregon. The most impactful service we provide is listening. Our programs (Workforce Education & Training, Family Empowerment, Healthy Families, Cultural Enrichment and Youth Rising) are designed to help create a cohesive and diverse community where all people are valued and empowered to participate and contribute to the health and prosperity of Central Oregon.

About The Father’s Group

The Father’s Group was founded by several black fathers who were concerned about the experiences their children were having both in school and in the broader community. They met initially to share thoughts, concerns and advice, yet soon realized they needed to take more concrete action to secure our next generation’s future. The Father’s Group is Black-led, but it embraces collaboration and cross-cultural influences, operating not just a group, but also as dedicated individuals who are doing great work in the community in education, business and social services. Priorities for The Father’s Group include building community by overcoming racial discrimination, increasing diversity in all sectors of society, providing a safe space for people to talk and share experiences, helping students set and complete educational goals, promoting minority-owned businesses and helping residents achieve financial independence.

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