A new website is on its way for PRG! Thanks to your sweet and strong testimonials, we were selected to participate in The Nerdery’s Overnight Website Challenge. For 24 hours on March 9-10, a team of talented volunteers will collaborate to build a new website for PRG.
We are excited about this opportunity to serve our clients better! Look for the official launch of the new site by April.
Do you wish this website worked better? You can help PRG win a new one!
We hope The Nerdery will choose PRG to participate in the Overnight Website Challenge, where talented volunteers help nonprofits make better websites.
Testimonials from people who use and know the organization are a big part of deciding who gets this big gift, so please take a minute and leave a comment here. Let The Nerdery know why PRG is important to you and/or why our website could use their talented touch.
Improvements we hope the Overnight Website Challenge will make possible:
- Clear and simple registration process for homebuyer workshops.
- Straightforward to find information you need to seek out advice on buying or keeping a home.
- Beauty and overall ease of use that reflect PRG’s professionalism and high quality standards.
- (Behind the scenes) easier process for making updates to the website so our staff spend less time tinkering and more time building support for our work.
We’re happy to announce that Spirit on Lake will be the new home of Quatrefoil Library, one of the oldest GLBT lending libraries in the country.
A lease signed earlier this month firmed up plans for Quatrefoil to move from its home of 20 years in St. Paul’s Richards Gordon office building into the 2,700 square-foot commercial space on the new building’s first floor.
The library has outgrown its current location; the new space will double its size. And the move to 13th and Lake will make the library more visible and convenient to more potential patrons, including, of course, the future residents of Spirit on Lake.
Quatrefoil’s collection includes thousands of books, periodicals, and audio and video recordings reflecting GLBT and Queer experiences, including materials on coming out, community organizations, historical events, great GLBT literature and non-fiction, local resources, news and current events impacting the GLBT community, and entertainment.
The library’s mission is to collect, maintain, document and circulate gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer materials and information in a safe and accessible space, in order to promote understanding, an appreciation of diversity and history, and the value of communities.
As non-profit organization, Quatrefoil runs on volunteer labor, donations, and member dues. The library welcomes non-members to visit and browse, but requires a membership (starting at $40/year, or $25 for students and seniors) to check out materials. Quatrefoil will launch a fundraising campaign in 2013 to assist with moving expenses and space improvements.
Last weekend, not one but THREE newly renovated houses in a three-block area of Willard-Hay and Near North were open for neighbors to visit.
The renovations—at 1723 Irving (still in progress), 1819 Girard, and 1822 James (before and after photo below)—are funded by the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) and carried out by PRG, working primarily with local and minority-owned contractors.
About 25 people, including the future owners of 1723 Irving, stopped to tour the homes and talk with PRG staff. Many expressed excitement about the completed renovations, and several mentioned the positive change; two of the homes had been sites of problem behaviors and/or had been vacant for a long time.
In addition to reinvesting in a neighborhood that has experienced large numbers of foreclosures, a major goal of the renovations is to provide affordable opportunities for ownership of high-quality homes. Rehab work on each home has the goal of needing no major repairs in the first years of home ownership, and care is taken to improve energy efficiency, abate hazardous materials like lead and asbestos, and improve indoor air quality. The result is an affordable home ownership opportunity that compares favorably to homes available on the market for a similar price.
Over the past two years, PRG has renovated two vacant, foreclosed homes on the 2400 block of James Avenue North. The new homebuyers are not just enjoying beautiful, affordable houses in a neighborhood they love; they’re also part of an increasingly strong community; in August, the block held its first National Night Out party in a decade.
See the proud neighbor manning the grill in this KARE11 News video from that evening? He’s a PRG homebuyer.
One big benefit of PRG’s free, HUD-approved foreclosure counseling: We help homeowners know and go after the relief they’re eligible for.
This recent article points to a study on federal foreclosure relief program known as HAMP (Home Affordable Mortgage Program). The researchers looked at a huge set of data about mortgage modifications and foreclosures under this program:
What they found was that certain banks were far better at modifying loans than others. The reasons for the difference, they established, were pretty predictable: The banks that were better at helping homeowners avoid foreclosure had staff who were both more numerous and better trained.
The upshot of this for homeowners facing foreclosure is this: Not all banks are going to help you find and get all the help that’s available to you. PRG’s free, HUD-approved foreclosure counseling program can.
Our counselors have broad knowledge about the available options. They are experts at advocating for homeowners and navigating bank bureaucracy and communication. This study found that 800,000 homeowners eligible for loan modifications were unnecessarily pushed toward foreclosure instead. We’re here to make sure you don’t become one of them.