FREE Outdoor Movie – Aug.2nd – Disney’s FROZEN

Genesis Housing Corporation is pleased to announce the second annual outdoor movie night will be held on Saturday, August 2nd at the Chestnut Street Park in Pottstown. This year’s movie will be Disney’s Frozen.

Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to the Chestnut Street Park at Washington and Chestnut Streets, Pottstown starting at 8 PM. The event kicks off with Tom Carroll, a free balloon performer, followed by DJ music until dusk and then Disney’s Frozen. The rain date is Sunday, August 3rd.

This Pottstown Neighborhood Program is funded by National Penn Bank through the Neighborhood Tax Credit Program. More information is available by calling 610-275-4357, on our website at www.genesishousing.org and/or via email at info@genesishousing.org.

Since 1994, Genesis Housing Corporation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has served Montgomery County as a community housing development organization (CHDO) and is dedicated to the development of affordable housing and to the education of consumers on housing and financial issues. Our general activities include the rehabilitation and new construction of homes to improve and stabilize neighborhoods and to provide opportunities for lower income homebuyers to purchase homes at affordable prices. Genesis Housing Corporation also provides monthly classes and individual counseling to help overcome barriers to home ownership, financial education and foreclosure prevention.

For more information about Genesis Housing Corporation and our programs, please visit their website at www.genesishousing.org, email at info@genesishousing.org, visit them on Facebook or call 610-275-4357.

Pottstown CARES initiative to be underway shortly…

Pottstown CARES: Part Two

 The second part of the CARES project will be a clean-up day TODAY, Friday, October 25 in a targeted area of Pottstown, from High Street north to Beech Street, and Hanover Street east to Edgewood Street.  All 505 Hill School students as well as Hill faculty and staff; 50 Pottstown High School students and numerous faculty members; and many Borough workers and officials will be dispersed to weed, pick up trash, and complete other “spruce up” tasks in public spaces in the core downtown area during this day of service that precedes National Make a Difference Day (October 26).  A team of volunteers also will work to beautify Edgewood Cemetery.

The CARES organizers estimate that a total of 700 students and adults will be contributing to the clean-up during the morning of October 25.

Last summer Borough residents were encouraged through a Mercury article and the Borough website to shares suggestions and requests for specific homeowner projects that might be tackled by the volunteers, in addition to general street and sidewalk clean-up.

The massive volunteer crew will assemble under Hill’s former hockey rink roof at 8:30 a.m. to receive instructions. Pre-organized teams then will disperse to their designated project areas until about 12:30 p.m., when they will return to Hill for a picnic lunch prepared by Sodexo, Hill’s food service provider.  Sodexo is generously donating the meals for all school district and borough volunteers as well as Hill students and personnel.

 After lunch, a celebratory group photo of all participants will be taken on Hill’s campus. 

 In addition, as part of the October 25 clean-up day, the Pottstown School District is running a blood drive from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the high school. Individuals interested in making a donation at the Pottstown High School on October 25 may send an email to Pottstown faculty member Mark Agnew at magnew@pottstownsd.org or call him at 610-970-6707.

Hill’s fine woodworking class students are painting new planks for a park bench to donate for one of the MOSAIC community gardens. A team of volunteers is expected to help build new compost bins for the garden at 423 Chestnut Street. Also, Hill School art students and faculty will be canvassing neighbors to ask for input on the design of a public, downtown Pottstown mural they would like to create in partnership with Pottstown High School art students.

Numerous organizations have contributed funding, tools, supplies, or other support to the CARES project.  In addition to equipment being shared by each of the three entities involved – from rakes to a public address system – the United Way has generously donated $1,000 toward tool procurement in addition to loaning tools through their tool share program.  Home Depot made a greatly appreciated cash donation to the project as well. CARES project organizers wish to give special thanks to the Pottstown Police Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department for their support.

Individuals who would like to donate work gloves, trash or leaf bags, or tools for this and future projects may take their items to Borough Hall at 100 E. High Street.

 Borough Manager Mark Flanders emphasized that Pottstown CARES is not intended to be a once and done affair, but a starting point that builds momentum for additional efforts that increase residents’ pride in Pottstown.

“It is my hope that this is the beginning of something bigger, and that, as time goes on, Pottstown CARES is a way of life for the residents of Pottstown – rather than a scheduled event,” Flanders noted.

Hill Headmaster Zack Lehman arranged for all 505 Hill students as well as faculty and staff to participate in the October 25 clean-up day.  He said he is excited about the synergy occurring between Hill, the Pottstown School District, and the Borough – and he is passionate about Hill’s involvement in the community.

“Hill was happy to provide the space for the community education event and to serve as the rallying point for the clean-up project,” Lehman said. “I see these CARES initiatives as the first of many cooperative projects.  Hill contributes to Pottstown in many ways, from our existing, highly engaged student community service program, to enthusiastic support of local businesses. We are eager to demonstrate our commitment to the town that has been Hill’s home for 163 years, and very happy to do so with our CARES partners.”

“Pottstown CARES provides community stakeholders with the opportunity to send the clear and inspirational message that, when working together, we are more effective in our actions,” said Dr. Jeff Sparagana, Pottstown superintendent.

“Together, we are Pottstown,” Sparagana said.

Gorgeous Victorian available at 259 Walnut Street

There’s a beautifully restored Victorian on the market for $164,900 at 259 Walnut Street in Pottstown. Looks like it’s got a 2-story garage with a workshop; this is a huge added benefit in a Pottstown home. I pass by this charming block periodically just because it’s got several lovely homes with wonderful front porches. It’s in the vicinity of Emmanuel Lutheran Church and the Pottstown School District administration building. The home can be seen on this YouTube video. It’s listed by Brian Kelly of Kelly Real Estate. Check it out!

FREE HOUSING COUNSELING CLASSES OFFERED IN POTTSTOWN

This comes to us from Genesis Housing

There has never been a better time to make the most of your money and to “clean-up” your credit.  Learn the best ways to reduce your debts. Learn how to improve your credit scores. Make good decisions with your money. Learn what they never covered when you were in high school!

Genesis Housing Corporation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit community development corporation, is bringing the FREE class series back to Pottstown on Tuesday evenings, July 30th, August 13th  and September 17th from 7:00 to 9:00 PM, at the Mosaic Community Land Trusts Offices, 10 South Hanover Street, Pottstown, PA 19464.  The classes are offered every month in Norristown. This will be the second time this year to have the classes in Pottstown.

The classes are designed to help to:

  • Understand Credit — Information on credit scores, improving your scores, re-establishing credit, dealing with debt.  Class participants can obtain a free credit report with scores from the three major credit reporting services (Tuesday, July 30, 2013).
  • Money Management – Information on preparing realistic budgets that are more than just monthly bills, prioritizing spending in tough times and understanding how current spending impacts your future financial options (Tuesday, August 13, 2013).
  • Home Buying Basics — Information the home buying process — finding a realtor, home inspections, Agreements of Sale, mortgages and first-time homebuyer grant programs (Tuesday, September 17, 2013).

Nikki Holcroft, an award winning and certified housing counselor, will teach the classes. Ms. Holcroft has more than twenty-five years experience working as a housing counselor, mortgage banker and community lender. Ms. Holcroft has worked with Genesis Housing Corporation since 2001 and teaches monthly classes on credit, money management and the home buying process. Ms. Holcroft also provides individual housing counseling sessions to help clients achieve their financial goals.  Ms. Holcroft has worked with families to restructure their mortgages, avoid foreclosures and reduce their debts.

Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling Genesis Housing Corporation at 610-275-4357 or online at www.genesishousing.org.

The Pottstown classes are funded, in part, by National Penn Bank. Additional funding was provided by Montgomery County. National Penn Bank is a member FDIC. National Penn Bank and Genesis Housing Corporation are nonaffiliated entities.

Genesis Housing Corporation’s housing counseling programs provide free classes and individual counseling helping over 7,000 clients. Monthly classes focus on topics not taught in regular school including understanding credit, credit repair, money management, saving plans, grant programs and understanding the home buying process including selecting a realtor and finding the best mortgage.

Since 1994, Genesis Housing Corporation has served Montgomery County as a 501(c)(3) non-profit community development corporation and is dedicated to the development of affordable housing and educating consumers on housing and financial issues.  Genesis Housing Corporation has been certified as a FannieMae Counseling Agency and is approved by PA Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for housing counseling. Genesis Housing Corporation is also an approved agency for many programs including the Montgomery County First-time Home Buyers Program and the Norristown First-time Home Buyers Program.

In addition, Genesis Housing Corporation has developed affordable housing by rehabilitating vacant homes and by building new homes for income eligible homebuyers. Renovated homes are currently available in Norristown and Pottstown. Genesis Housing Corporation also renovates existing owner-occupied homes for eligible families for the Montgomery County Homeowner Rehab Program and the Pottstown Homeowner Rehab Program.

Visit us on Facebook (www.facebook/GenesisHousing). For more information on Genesis Housing Corporation programs, please call 610-275-4357 or visit our web site at www.genesishousing.org.

Planning meeting this Tuesday for repair/clean-up day set for Oct. 25th

Brought to you by The Hill School and Evan Brandt’s Digital Notebook

Residents and business owners of the Borough of Pottstown have the opportunity to share suggestions and requests for targeted neighborhood property repairs and general “clean-up” needs during a community conversation to be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25 in the Ricketts Center, 640 Beech St., Pottstown.

During this gathering, representatives from the Borough, the Pottstown School District, and The Hill School will begin planning a collaborative volunteer project that will involve teams of personnel and students from these three entities on Friday, Oct. 25.

The Project is focusing on the core redevelopment area bounded by High Street, north to Beech Street, then from Hanover Street east to Edgewood Street.

Dubbed the Pottstown CARES Project — with CARES representing Community, Awareness, Responsibility, Empowerment, and Sustainability — this endeavor will utilize the efforts of The Hill School’s students, faculty, and staff; a dedicated group of Pottstown School District students and teachers; and a crew of Borough maintenance professionals.

Pottstown residents are encouraged to attend the meeting Tuesday evening to help organizers plan how to make a tangible impact on the borough on Oct. 25, both in terms of improved aesthetics and, ideally, heightened and sustainable Pottstown community spirit and commitment.

Light refreshments will be served.

For additional information, please contact Assistant Borough Manager Erika Weekley at 610-970-6515 or eweekley@pottstown.org.

Annual Home Show runs tonight thru Sunday at Sunnybrook

Here are all the details from the Building Industries Exchange website:

The annual Home Show is a three-day expo sponsored by the Building Industries Exchange (NARI-BIE) of Pottstown and Vicinity, Inc. and produced through volunteer efforts of NARI-BIE members.

The Show offers drawings, prizes, demonstrations, and an all-under-one-roof opportunity for visitors to collect home improvement and building information from local professionals.  Admission is $5 at the gate; children 16 and under are free.

Adult attendees will receive a ballot to nominate their choice of exhibit for “Best in Show”. First, second, and third place ribbons will be awarded based on the final vote tally.

2013 Schedule of Events

The 2013 NARI-BIE Pottstown Home Show will be held March 1-3, 2013 at Sunnybrook Ballroom and Grounds. For a map and directions to Sunnybrook, please click here.

Friday, March 1

  • 5:00 PM – Show opens to the public
  • 6:30 PM – Seminar:  Understanding the EPA Lead Paint Law – Presented by Gehman Design Remodeling
  • 7:30 PM – Seminar:  Maintain Your Expensive Blacktop Investment at Home, Work, or Social Property – Presented by Chem Seal
  • 9:00 PM – Show closes

Saturday, March 2

Sunday, March 3

  • 11:00 AM – Show opens to the public
  • 12:00 PM – Shred Event Begins (maximum:  2 file boxes; must purchase show ticket)
  • 12:30 PM – Seminar:  Go Green and Save Green – Presented by Halo Energy, LLC
  • 1:30 PM – Seminar:  Weatherize your Home’s Air Leaks with a Thermal Imaging Camera – Presented by Oehlert Bros., Inc.
  • 3:00 PM – Shred Event Ends (maximum 2 file boxes; must purchase show ticket)
  • 5:00 PM – Show closes

Montco Commissioners Give-and-Take with Pottstown Residents

This past Monday night Montgomery County Commissioners and the higher-ups in several County agencies were on hand at Montgomery County Community College in Pottstown to talk about what they’ve done since taking office and to answer questions and hear residents’ concerns.

Evan Brandt’s article in yesterday’s Mercury provides a nice summary. Public employee pensions, the state of Route 422, the potential for gerrymandering, the ongoing challenges of revitalization, the concentration of social services and the people they serve, and the effects of the concentration of housing vouchers in Pottstown were all up for discussion. The Commissioners were well-prepared and promised to provide follow-up information to numerous citizens.

One of the brightest moments of the meeting came when Shanae Roberts, the President of the West Campus student body announced the figures for the amount of community service provided by the College over the past four years. It was encouraging to see a young person at the meeting, participating in the give-and-take of democracy! Ms. Roberts reported the following:

Between 2008-2012, MCCC has reached out to the community with 3,695 volunteers putting in more than 33,700 hours with 117 partnering opportunities. This amounted to over $100,529 in monetary donations. In 2012 the College had the highest number of volunteers to date with over 918 volunteers contributing 15,500 hours of service to 28 partner organizations, including the Norristown Police Athletic League, Olivet Boys and Girls Club, Miller Keystone & American Red Cross Blood Drives, and Project Linues. An estimated $38,300 in monetary donations was raised.

Not only is the West Campus proving to be an important revitalization partner as it rehabilitates and re-uses historic buildings in town, but there is also a strong culture of developing and sustaining connections in the community. Thanks to MCCC for hosting this meeting, which had a very strong turnout, perhaps an indication of a new core constituency that believes in a better Pottstown and is impatient for change.

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