Neighborhood Pride Day brings together business and community members
COMPTON—An army of volunteers put a fresh face on a neighborhood in District 3, and spent the day painting, gardening and throwing away junk at a Neighborhood Pride Day hosted by Los Angeles County Neighborhood Housing Services on Aug. 4.
NHS is a nonprofit organization that stabilizes neighborhoods through home ownership.
“We rehabilitated a home on Harlan Street and felt the neighborhood would be a good community project, mostly because of the homeowners in the area,” said Assistant Vice President of Community Affairs Nina Kihlman. “Our group solicited volunteers and committed to repainting two homes in the area, and we also did some garden projects, as well.”
Community projects come to life through fundraising efforts, she said, and the goal is getting all the residents involved, leaving behind an engaged group that forms a neighborhood block club.
Clearing out excess junk was part of the effort, and 1-800-Got-Junk donated its time and hauled everything away for free.
“We will take four truckloads of stuff out of this neighborhood today,” employee Clinton Williams said. “The service usually costs $638 when the truck is full, so residents saved $2,552 today.
Territory leader Chris Ruberg said his boss, Darren Tavitian, is the light that leads the way.
“He organizes all these events,” he said. “Christmas parades, community drives and e-waste events is how he envisions helping the community, and we would not be here today without his vision.” Neighborhood workshops designed to educate people about how to purchase real estate is a staple within the organization, and the group recently hosted an event at Calvary Baptist Church.
“Workshops are part of the pre-purchase process,” Neighborhood Resource Coordinator Nyasha Buchongo said. “People learn about debt management and receive credit counseling, and we plot a plan for success along the way.”
Properties offered for sale by the NHS are usually bank foreclosures.
“Before we purchase a property we have to look at the rehabilitation and marketing costs,” NHS Realtor Leo Castellanos said. “The home has to meet the market value, and if rehabilitation costs are too high we cannot invest and lose money. This is a nonprofit organization.”
The event featured one fully remodeled home, currently in escrow. The NHS currently has 22 homes in Compton undergoing rehabilitation for resale.
“We sell to low- and moderate-income families,” Castellanos said. “Residential realtors focus on the sale and move forward. We eliminate blight and invest in long-term community solutions.”
Banks take ownership in local communities, he said, and offer outstanding programs to make home ownership a reality for people who do not meet traditional requirements.
“They support the communities we serve,” Castellanos said.
The first step is making the call, he said, and telling NHS about their situation.
“Resolving a tax lien may take longer than a bunch of credit card debt,” he said. “A person’s financial health can improve right away, but it takes commitment.”
Call 888-895-2647 for more information about the program offered by the NHS.