The Houston Area Urban League is one of the cities and county's primary resources when it comes to addressing housing challenges. They can help tenants avoid eviction using partnerships with the Volunteer Lawyer Program and provide foreclosure counseling. Another focus of HAUL is on helping clients gain a new or better job.
Since employment is often the best long term solution to a housing crisis, the non-profit has staff and specialists that provide clients with job placement and training services. They will also offer other advice when it comes to solving barriers to adequate employment.
The League works with the Houston Volunteer Lawyer Program (HVLP) in providing direct legal assistance and advocacy to low-income Harris County residents who are experiencing issues related to fair housing rights. The program also assists tenants with pay or quit eviction notices, conducts group outreach, individual housing counseling and educational activities. Dial 713-393-8732.
The First Time Homebuyers Workshop assists low to moderate-income families with the buying process. Topics covered from HUD approved counselors during the sessions include shopping for a home, homeownership preparation, budget creation, tips on negotiating purchase price, and applying for an affordable mortgage. Families who successfully complete the class may be eligible for financial help or some form of cash grant for making a down payment and paying closing costs. Classes are offered in both English and Spanish.
The Houston Area Urban League Foreclosure Intervention counselors are here to help those borrowers that are behind on their mortgage. Staff are certified by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide free information. They assist with defaults and offer foreclosure intervention counseling to residents of the greater Houston area who are having difficulty keeping up with mortgage payments. To learn more on this service, please call 713-393-8766.
The main goal and purpose of the Credit Enhancement Program is to help the first-time homebuyers resolve negative credit issues, pay down debts and raise a poor credit (FICO) score, which is a critical factor in qualifying for an affordable loan. The program is also available to Harris County residents who simply want to improve their credit standing by raising their FICO scores.
Clients who enroll into this HCAUL service will access extensive, one-on-one credit-counseling, with the aim of raising the client’s credit rating within a specified time frame. This will often include such tactics as debt reduction too. Please call 713-393-8735.
HAUL’s Houston Economic Empowerment Center (H-EEC) works in collaboration with public, private and nonprofit resources to build strong, sustainable, and successful minority businesses in Harris County. The main mission of the Center is to support the efforts of minority entrepreneurs in gaining management skills they can use to gain access to new business opportunities.
The H-EEC program will also help them qualify for the financing needed to progress through the next levels of business growth. The goal is to create jobs, wealth and improved economic health among the minority and urban core communities of the Greater Houston as well as Harris County area. This is accomplished through one-on-one mentoring sessions that provide individualized guidance and support in determining the client’s next steps.
Workforce Development department will help individuals and entire families reach the goal of attaining economic stability and self-sufficiency. Specialists offer job search support, interview advice, assistance in completing employment applications, and help in retaining employment. Available services include Job Placement, Resume Development, classes on Effective Communication Skills as well as Interviewing Techniques and more. There may also be free clothes as part of Dress for Success.
Federal governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations in Harris County, and businesses provide funding and collaboration for the Workforce Development Department’s Customized Training Programs. The purpose of these courses is to provide knowledge to the under or unemployed. They can access skills, classes and tools to facilitate success on the job and career advancement. Some examples of a session may be Microsoft Office certification or classes on customer service skills.
Workshops from the Houston Area Urban League over such topics as Life Skills Training, Job Placement Assistance, Customer Service Skills, and Retention. Various other Support Services are offered too.
The Training Department at HAUL also offers certified training in occupational and soft skills. This is done strictly for the purpose of removing barriers to employment, helping people earn more money more than minimum wage, and enhancing the employee’s economic position.
Wellbeing is part of the Health and Wellness Initiative. This service promotes wellness for the greater Houston area, for both children and adults. It is done through a holistic approach, and the program’s focus is on providing access to resources for medical are and advocacy for the low income.
Most of the services from the Houston Area Urban League are available across all of Harris County as well. They operate from an office at 1301 Texas Ave., Houston, TX 77002, and the main number is 713-393-8700.
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