Agency Background – Meeting the Need:
The Community Housing Resource Center, now the Lighthouse Resource Center was the outcome of eighteen months of intensive research that was conducted by the Community Reinvestment Alliance (CRA) Working Group appointed by the city of Vancouver in 1993. Research revealed there was a wide array of home ownership assistance programs available for low/moderate income first time homebuyers but the knowledge of the availability was not widespread. The principal recommendation of this group was the formation of the Housing Center in 1995 to remove barriers to homeownership by facilitating the process through education and counseling. Soon after, the agency incorporated as a private non-profit 501(c)(3). For the past several years, it has received and retained its HUD certification that demonstrates CHRC continues to meet the national housing counseling standards.
The Climate Today:
The economic downturn has had a devastating effect on our community as it has eroded the security and stability of our families and individuals throughout Clark County, Washington. Unemployment figures for Clark County (reported in April 2012) reached over 15%–the highest the county had experienced to date and among the highest in the state. A greater number of families with children, veterans returning from war, and households who had lost jobs and their homes had become the new faces of the homeless. These are the very families who once enjoyed a lifestyle that allowed them to contribute to the vitality and stability of the community through homeownership. Strapped with debt and with little knowledge of how to take charge in the process of rebuilding towards financial stability—the growing barrier that often prevents finding housing, obtaining insurance, or getting a job—they are turning to CHRC for assistance with debt management and the tools necessary to rebuilding credit and establishing a solid financial footing.
The Agency Today – Expanding programs to address growing needs:
The Community Housing Resource Center offers classes and counseling to meet the increased demands of its community in southwest Washington. It has developed public/private partnerships with the local city and county government administrations and social service agencies to bring their clients as well as the greater community, the high standards and best practices the agency has incorporated into administering its financial literacy and counseling program.
Our Volunteers—Professionals in their fields:
We couldn’t do our work without the many volunteers who represent their fields of business or service and share their professional expertise with our clients. Each volunteer instructor is trained by attending an individual orientation with the Executive Director and observes a class prior to doing any teaching. Our volunteers must (and do) share our values and be deeply committed to our mission. We screen our volunteers and monitor the way they instruct at class and how they do business and work with any of our clients.
Mission Statement: Our mission is to help our community’s families establish financial self-sufficiency through quality education and counseling in order for them to obtain better employment, housing stability, home ownership, and financial security.
We accomplish this through classroom education and one-on-one confidential counseling.
Vision Statement: Families who are financially self-sufficient help create a more vital and thriving community and that benefits all of us.