The sixth housing event sponsored by Deutsche Bank took place in Newark, New Jersey on May 18th.    NHRC partnered with local housing counseling agencies to provide attendees with information and assistance on homebuying and foreclosure prevention. For this event, we were excited to coordinate with Hope Now to provide assistance to homeowners in distress.

We had our highest attendance yet with at least 255 participants. Here are the big takeaways that helped to make this such a successful event:

  1. Location, location, location. We held the event at a well-known, respected church right in the city. Experience over the six events has made it very clear- location impacts attendance.  When the event is held at a familiar and trusted neighborhood location, attendance has been markedly higher than when held at a more formal setting like a convention center.
  2. Once again, Facebook was the biggest driver of registrations and attendance with more than 90 % of them having no previous knowledge about housing counseling. For those that registered but didn’t attend, participating agencies will be able to follow-up by phone and/or email.
  3. Recently, rather than setting one-on-one brief meetings with a housing counselor, we have been using a small group format to highlight the benefits of housing counseling. The groups at this event expressed satisfaction with the format and in fact thought it created a warmer, more inviting and comfortable atmosphere for the attendees while getting more people connected to quality housing counseling programs.
  4. Volunteers were essential to the success of the event. We had wonderful volunteers from a local college, a local high school, from Faith Fellowship Church, and from Deutsche Bank.  They made sure registration went smoothly, that participants knew where to go to access various activities and generally helped attendees feel comfortable and at ease. This freed up housing counseling agency staff to work directly with more clients.

The groups in Newark, New Jersey have strong working relationships and their dedication to the work shined through at this event.  Many thanks to all of them for all their hard work:

Housing and Community Network of New Jersey         La Casa de Don Pedro

Urban League of Essex County                                      Faith Fellowship CDC

Navicore Solutions                                                         Consumer Credit and Budget Counseling

Catholic Charities, Newark