Fall 2015  
Opening Doors Newsletter
From your friends at NeighborWorks Lincoln 
In This Issue
Outstanding Affiliate of the Year
NWL Homeowners Learn Plumbing Basics
New Faces and Farewells
Recent Grant Awards
Quick Links
Be a Good Neighbor
Turn your porch lights on! Crime is likely to decline in well-lit neighborhoods. Thieves, vandals and prowlers are deterred by lighted areas. Turning on porch lights is a simple way to start the process. A motion sensor light or solar light work well for the backyard.
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On October 29th, NeighborWorks Lincoln hosted its first BLIGHT FRIGHT Open House at a recently purchased property that will be redeveloped. Approximately 130 individuals walked through the house between the two times it was open. The purpose of the event was to allow people to see the type of properties NWL normally purchases for its Real Estate Development Program. On account of its condition, this specific property will be demolished and replaced with a newly constructed single family home. NWL hopes to have another open house a year from now to allow the public to see the new home. 

News coverage on the event included the following: 

Lincoln Journal Star: "Public can view R street problem property before it's razed, replaced." View the story here.

1011 News: "NeighborWorks Lincoln to Demolish Run Down Property" View the story here.

Lincoln Residents Attend Leadership Training in Kentucky
(back) Kurt Elder, Ben McShane-Jewell, Brayden McLaughlin, Lilly Blase, Amanda Huckins, (front) Rosina Paolini, Pat Anderson-Sifuentez

Earlier in the month, NWL staff took a group of local residents to Louisville, Kentucky for the national NeighborWorks America Community Leadership Institute Conference (CLI). The conference drew 1,000 participants from across the United States and Puerto Rico. Attendees had the opportunity to attend workshops and tours to learn about a variety of tools used to help people create and implement action plans for positive change in their local communities. Participants experienced a weekend of engagement and cross-country networking.  

The NWL group was comprised of individuals who are stewards of the Lincoln community, who serve on various boards and who all work on issues of sustainability. Although these participants have different affiliations and backgrounds, they were able to form a stronger coalition through their experience at CLI. The group will work together on a project to be implemented in 2016, which will be focused in the south of downtown area. NWL Board Member and participant Ben McShane-Jewell reflected on the trip, "Learning from others across the country in the workshops was valuable. I appreciated how diverse the group was, which brought a lot of good insights and experiences to the table."
Outstanding Affiliate of the Year
Tom Grafton of Grafton & Associates CPA (right) presents Bill Porn of NeighborWorks Lincoln (left) with the Outstanding Affiliate of the Year award.

On October 1st, NWL Homeownership Coordinator Bill Porn was presented the Outstanding Affiliate of the Year by the REALTORS® Association of Lincoln. This award is given to recognize an affiliate member of the REALTORS® Association of Lincoln who has conducted himself or herself in business and in community service so as to be a credit to both. Bill received the nomination from Tom Grafton, President of Grafton and Associates CPA. 

In his nomination letter Grafton wrote, "As a former Realtor, Bill brings his valuable industry experience to assist every day the participants [of NeighborWorks Lincoln] and their Realtors in homebuyer education and financing assistance. NeighborWorks of Lincoln has had tremendous success opening doors for people to achieve their dreams of homeownership and revitalizing Lincoln neighborhoods. Bill is a quiet but vital part of that success."   
NWL Homeowners Learn Plumbing Basics

The second Post-Purchase Education class of the year was held at NeighborWorks Lincoln on August 29th. Fifteen NWL homeowners were in attendance to learn about the basics of plumbing repair and maintenance, and homeowner's insurance.

NWL Housing Construction Manager Gary Rumbaugh provided a hands-on learning environment for this class with attendants learning how to rebuild different types and styles of sink faucets, how to take apart a toilet to replace the flapper valve and fill valve, and how to sweat copper tubing joints. The class discussed the different types of water supply lines, the new toilet dual flush valves conversion kits, and became familiar with the numerous kinds of plumbing tools. The class was wrapped up with Brian Bradley from American Family Insurance presenting on homeowner's insurance and answering questions. Attendant and NWL Board President Malinda Jean Baptiste later exclaimed, "I had a wonderful time and left feeling as though I could handle most of my basic plumbing issues!"

Post Purchase Education classes are currently held two times a year in the spring and the fall, and are intended for our recent homebuyer clients. If you were not invited and would like to be, please email Alex Cowsky at alex.cowsky@nwlincoln.org and we will add you to the invitation list.

New Faces and Farewells
NeighborWorks Lincoln is pleased to announce the addition of a new staff member and a new board member. Marti Lee has joined the team as a community builder with over 29 years of experience in community and commercial redevelopment. Previously, Marti served as Executive Director for Southtown Council in central Kansas City. She was instrumental in managing seven non-profit business associations and community improvement districts; leveraging more than $20 million in infrastructure improvements; and coordinating major community events. Marti has served on numerous community boards and volunteered as a "Meals on Wheels" driver for more than 20 years.

Marti Lee, NWL Community Builder

Wynn Hjermstad has been appointed to the NeighborWorks Lincoln Board of Directors. Wynn is the Community Development Manager for the City of Lincoln and has over 29 years of experience in several aspects of city planning. Wynn manages several large-scale redevelopment efforts for the City including projects in the North 27th Street Corridor, Antelope Valley revitalization, redevelopment of the VA Campus, and the Telegraph District at 21st and N Streets. 

Wynn Hjermstad, NWL Board Member

The entire NeighborWorks Lincoln team would like to extend a special thank you to three parting board members: David Schoenmaker of State of Nebraska Department of Roads, Steve Werthmann of City of Lincoln Department of Urban Development and Tim Francis of Woods Bros Real Estate. These three have been involved with NeighborWorks Lincoln for many years and their dedication and advocacy is truly appreciated. Their service was invaluable. 

Steve Werthmann (top left), David Schoenmaker (top right), Tim Francis (bottom right)
Recent Grant Awards
First National Bank
NeighborWorks Lincoln was recently awarded a grant from the First National Bank Community Development Grant Program in the amount of $15,000. This grant will support NWL's Real Estate Development efforts in FY 2016. 

Nebraska Department of Economic Development
In July of this year, NeighborWorks Lincoln received 3 grants from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development's Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Fund Program: $483,495 for NWL's New Construction Program, which will assist with the construction of six single family homes serving six households at or below 100% of the Area Median Income in Lincoln; $472,492 for NWL's Down Payment Assistance Program, which will assist NWL with the provision of down payment assistance, closing costs and rehabilitation costs for 17 households at or below 100% of the Area Median Income in Lincoln and $60,000 for Operating Assistance for NeighborWorks Lincoln.

We are truly grateful to these community partners for their incredibly generous support of our efforts.