NeighborWorks America is turning 40 this year, but we don’t need a reason to celebrate the accomplishments of this network of organizations and the assistance they bring to communities across the country. NeighborWorks America exists today because 40 years ago, a coalition of residents, government officials, bankers, and community members decided to experiment with a new way of making communities better places to live. Instead of housing projects, this coalition envisioned better, more affordable homes in the places that people need them most. Since its Congressional chartering in 1978, it has expanded from around 50 organizations to nearly 250 nationwide. Yet, it has retained what makes it unique: a grassroots approach that allows every organization the flexibility to focus on the needs of its particular community.
Over the past 40 years, NeighborWorks and its network have assisted close to 8 million people through affordable housing and counseling. We have also expanded our programs to include more elements required by strong communities: financial coaching, job readiness and placement, healthy housing, and access to educational opportunities.
Today, NeighborWorks America training programs for community development professionals are the best in the country, and it continues to adapt them as it learns more from the network about what is effective on the ground. Network organizations like NeighborWorks Waco are what NeighborWorks America effective, and we look forward to another 40 years of working together to make every community a place of opportunity.
More than just a connection of similar nonprofits, the NeighborWorks network has provided an abounding number of opportunities for NeighborWorks Waco – grant funding, peer-to-peer learning opportunities, industry specific training, and the opportunity for organizational assessment and evaluation. Roy Nash, President and CEO of NeighborWorks Waco states, “As our prime national sponsor, NeighborWorks America has a very strong and positive impact on our work. They create opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities. We are all indeed working together for strong communities. NeighborWorks Waco is proud to be one of close to 250 organizations located across the country to be affiliated with this network of excellence!”