This past summer, United Housing hosted Lukas Alfen, an eighth grade Science teacher at Woodstock Middle School through Teach for America - Memphis, as an intern. During his internship, Lukas helped develop a process for getting financial education to teachers through financial literacy tools that are used across the country. These tools help teachers share with their students how to mitigate bad spending habits and bad credit scores through financial education at an early age.

After hearing about United Housing's Home RePAIR program on The Bev Johnson Show on 1070 WDIA, Preston and Barbara Gilliam knew right away it was exactly what they needed. The couple quickly contacted United Housing for an application, and within days they were notified of approval of the 1.5% loan to help repair damages to their home's roof and ceiling.

"We could not be happier about the work performed on our home," said Preston. "Mr. William Hampton and his Network Construction organization went above and beyond; the workers were courteous, respectful and did a wonderful job."

By Amy Schaftlein, Director of Development + Communications

There was a buzz of anticipation in the morning air as audience members arrived at the sold-out conference that was the first of its kind in Memphis. As people walked in, they encountered a wall of cheerfully hued red sticky notes clustered around the question, “What’s Next for you?” Participants busied themselves by putting their ideas up on the board; the ideas ranged from earnest to zany, including “M.D.,” “Graduate,” “Artist” and even “Pizza.” On Saturday, August 29, passionate individuals from all over Memphis (including one from UHI), the Mid-South and beyond came together to explore fresh ideas that may have potential to shape Memphis and the world at the TEDxMemphis event at the University of Memphis’ Rose Theatre.

Tommy Green, a U.S. veteran who served in the Marine Corps and graduated from the academy as Company Honorman, is a new homeowner through a UHI pilot program to connect veterans to homeownership. However, the road from serving his country to owning a home was a rocky one. After his service, Green experienced homelessness and struggled with addiction, but he was eventually able to complete Barron Heights CDC’s two-year addiction counseling program.

Landmark Community Bank Offers Low Interest Loan To Facilitate Purchase

When St. Therese of Lisieux – the “Saint of the Little Way” – said more than a century ago that people in distress could be saved by small acts of kindness, she may not have been thinking about food and shelter for women who are survivors of trauma and homelessness. But a Memphis non-profit has used the teachings of the Little Flower, as St. Therese is known, as an inspiration to build community with and for women who are looking to rebuild their lives after being on the streets.

And when the Memphis-based Community of St. Therese of Lisieux approached United Housing, Inc. (UHI) in need of space for three women in transition, the message resonated. Thanks to a partnership with the Lisieux Community, UHI, the Presbyterian Women (PCUSA) and Landmark Community Bank, those women now have a safe place to live as they work to get back on their feet.

With students heading back to class and Shelby County Schools' year kicking off next week, our UHI Intern, Teach for America Corps Member Lukas Alfen also returns to the classroom. He developed United Housing for Youth, a curriculum that features a set of exercises that instructors can access on youth financial literacy. 

Through Teach for America, Lukas Alfen has worked as a geometry and science teacher at Woodstock Middle School in Millington, Tenn., for the past year. In January, Lukas reached out to UHI Executive Director Tim Bolding about financial literacy for youth programming. The meeting resulted in Tim Bolding speaking to Lukas' class on financial literacy for youth. Following the presentation, both Lukas and Tim were surprised by the lack of knowledge these students had on money management.

To cap off NeighborWorks America’s NeighborWorks Week, United Housing is hosting a Neighbor to Neighbor Community Fair in Frayser on Saturday, June 13! The fair is in conjunction with the Frayser Community Development Corporation (Frayser CDC) and the office of Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir. This free event will take place between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at New Hope Christian Academy, located at 3000 University Street, Memphis, TN 38127.

Getting Started in Financial Literacy

Did you know that the month of April is National Financial Literacy Month? Priscilla Reed, Special Projects Coordinator at United Housing, Inc., shares her knowledge as a certified financial capability counselor in the following blog post.

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