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July 2011Vol 2, Issue 7
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We can make a difference
Message From
AmeriCorps*VISTA Member


Has it already been a year?

While I was frantically searching for the correct date last week to accompany my signature for some administrative papers that were due that particular morning, I was taken aback when I realized the month of July was staring me right in the face, in a manner of speaking of course. I realized that time had seemingly vanished over this past year working as an AmeriCorps*VISTA with Montana Credit Unions for Community Development (MCUCD).

When I first arrived at MCUCD a little less than a year ago, I honestly had no clue of what I was getting myself into, except that I was excited to learn about, and begin involvement with MCUCD's Matched Savings Account programs, as well as their other great programs geared towards helping low to moderate income Montanans across the state.

Since that uncertain time, it has certainly been a tremendous experience witnessing the great and beneficial programs and opportunities that MCUCD, Montana's Credit Unions, and all of their community partners have been involved in and that have been implemented across their communities.

It was a great honor and priceless experience to be a small part of some of those empowering programs, and to see how much everyone (MCUCD, Credit Unions, Community Partners) really cares about their community and neighbors across the state.

Thank you!

Aaron Hirsch

In This Issue
Making a Difference
Emergency Homeowners' Loan Program
July Consumer Topic
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Making A Difference


Flathead Valley Project Homeless Connect

This past June along with over eighty other organizations, Park Side Federal Credit Union participated in the second Project Homeless Connect (PHC) in the Flathead Valley, an area that has one of the largest homeless populations in Montana. Over 400 PHC participants were able to visit up to 20 different service providers and receive medical and dental services, public assistance, bicycle repair, ID services, employment assistance, legal services, housing counseling, veterans services, financial education, and pet services to name a few.  

Josh Kroll

Josh Kroll (Park Side FCU) visits with PHC participant.


Park Side Federal Credit Union helped sponsor the event, raising in-kind donations such as non-perishable food, clothing, blankets, and sleeping bags, as well as participating as a service provider in the financial education area. As a service provider, Park Side staff spoke with over 70 participants and provided many with information about signing up for Free to Choo$e, a financial literacy program Park Side co-sponsors with Community Action Partnership of Northwest Montana. Park Side was also vital in the planning of the event. Their staff held a position on the steering committee, and raised items for a raffle and recruited volunteers for PHC.


PHC originally started in San Francisco in 2004 to bring together agencies and businesses that can help the homeless or those at risk of homelessness in one location, with an emphasis on providing immediate services. Since its inception, PHC has been replicated in hundreds of cities within the U.S.  

Emergency Homeowners' Loan Program (EHLP)
New Anti-Foreclosure Program Available:


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released a program to help homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure. The program is called the Emergency Homeowners' Loan Program (EHLP) and was created to help homeowners who are temporarily and involuntarily unemployed or underemployed due to the economy or medical condition, and at risk of foreclosure.


The EHLP will provide eligible homeowners with emergency assistance that pays a portion of their monthly mortgage payments for up to 24 consecutive months, or up to $50,000, whichever occurs first. Homeowners must act quickly - the deadline to apply is July 22, 2011.  Find out more by visiting NeighborWorks Montana .   

Consumer Topic of the Month
CRC GraphicNatural Disaster Recovery


Montana was broadsided by unseasonably high amounts of rain and erratic weather this spring. Although it is difficult to plan for an unexpected disaster, emergency supplies and planning can help mitigate some of the immediate aftermath damage. As immediate efforts are carried out across the state, MCUCD is devoting the month of July to Disaster Relief and offering resources to help Montanans cope and work through challenges posed by recent flooding. 


Visit the Consumer Topic of the Month for more information and resources to understand how you can build a better credit report.