This week, I have been at a NeighborWorks America National Training Institute in NewOrleans, LA. The courses I took remind me that NeighborWorks builds community, not just housing. Not only do we help people acquire safe and affordable housing, but we also help our neighbors in other ways. This newsletter highlights some of our community-building activities.

NeighborWorks America has begun a conversation with other institutions which help improve people’s lives. The theme for this conference was the intersection between the quality of housing and neighborhoods and health outcomes of the people who live there.

Waco has been working on the intersectionality of health, education and wealth as reflected in the Prosper Waco Initiative. Housing was left out of the mix, however, it seems obvious to me now (after the New Orleans NTI) that housing is the center which connects those three “spokes of the wheel.”

NeighborWorks Waco has been providing financial education to the community in several ways for many years. We have also been helping people to buy their home and thus build their wealth. We have not found a way to directly partner with health care providers to positively impact the health outcomes for our mutual client’s. Based on information and tools gleaned at the NTI, NeighborWork Waco will start a conversation in our Board and with community partners that I hope will lead to programs and practices that can help our clients’ health outcomes. We are striving to be the best neighbor to our community.

In the meantime, we will be busy finishing construction of our single family housing projects in East Waco and Legacy Square (with 11 of 12 units sold). We also expect to begin construction in this quarter of our multi-family housing project (54-unit Belmont Village) with our for-profit partners. The drive to raise our Endowment Fund will continue for several years. Growth and change are coming. Here’s to our future success.

Board Chair