SHALOM CENTER for T.R.E.E. of Life(Shalom Center) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) faith-based organization founded in 1997 that provides comprehensive housing counseling, training and client advocacy services to help low- and moderate-income homebuyers and tenants in the Los Angeles County and Orange County areas secure and maintain safe and affordable housing. Shalom Center’s goal is to prevent homelessness and to promote long-term housing opportunities by providing families and communities with the skills and confidence necessary to gain control over their own lives and environment. Shalom Center places a priority on removing barriers for groups with inadequate access to services, such as minority, immigrant, limited English proficiency, disabled, homeless, and elderly populations.
Recognizing that increasing the number of homeowners improves the community’s quality of life, Shalom Center focuses primarily on creating new homeowners. We do this by providing homebuyer education, homeowner education, affordable single-family infill housing, and affordable mortgage loan products. Homeownership is considered a key element in cultivating a family’s pride in and commitment to their communities. It is our hope that this pride and commitment results in efforts to keep our schools maintained, create healthy businesses, and keep our neighborhoods safe.
Shalom Center is dedicated to the revitalization of LA and Orange County neighborhoods by providing a full range of programs and services that encourage, create, and support homeownership through faith.
Introduction of Shalom Center
Over the course of its 20-year history, Shalom Center for T.R.E.E. of Life-Therapy, Research, Education and Empowerment-(“Shalom Center”) has evolved into a trusted nonprofit, focused and dedicated to its mission to increase safe, affordable housing opportunities that foster healthy, viable neighborhoods. Shalom Center consistently has been an asset to the Korean community.
For 15 years, this organization has served low-and moderate-income families in Los Angeles County, helping them open the door to the American Dream of successful long-term home ownership; and those families, in turn, have become the seeds that strengthen their neighborhoods across Los Angeles County. Since April 2005, more than 50,300 families have participated in our housing services and programs, and Shalom Center, in partnership with the community, has assisted nearly $350 million in mortgages for low-and moderate-income families.
Shalom Center has invested heavily in the health and viability of Korean neighborhoods, building better communities and laying a solid, complementary foundation to its home ownership programs. While Shalom Center has steadfastly remained faith-based, it also has a rich history of successfully responding to new challenges, opportunities, and changes in its environment. Remaining nimble and open to new opportunities, the organization piloted, for example, an education program that focuses on new immigrants. That program brings Shalom Center’s credit and money management classes into workplaces to educate working families-immigrants who will become home owners.
As a significant number of families served by Shalom Center cannot receive counseling during traditional business hours, Shalom Center has implemented a “mobile office” policy, encouraging staff to meet clients at the clients’ convenience. In addition, in response to the changing marketplace, Shalom Center will open satellite offices. The most dramatic changes affecting Shalom Center are in the credit and lending environment. Shalom center has raised 2 million dollars to assist homeowners with programs Hardest Hit Fund and Keep Your Home California.
Shalom Center has responded and will continue to respond and adapt its services to meet new needs. As the mortgage market has quickly and dramatically changed and the number of foreclosures has risen to unprecedented crisis levels, Shalom Center is positioned to react, thanks to the robust network of partners that the organization has cultivated on local, state, and national levels, from government to local financial institutions to faith based organizations, other nonprofits, and individual home buyers.
Working with its partners, Shalom Center will continue to bring forward momentum that balances its ongoing mission with new programs and strategies to address the current market. For example, recognizing that healthy neighborhoods and effective long-term affordable housing are mutually sustaining, Shalom Center stakeholders have recommended enhancing Shalom Center’s primarily “people-based” strategies (homebuyer counseling and education) with expanded “place-based” strategies (programming and support targeted at individuals and properties within particular neighborhoods). In addition, opportunities exist for Shalom Center to address the need for safe, affordable housing for renters; to introduce Shalom Center families to the concept of wealth-building through asset development and asset preservation; and perhaps most important, to greatly enhance overall awareness of Shalom Center as a community resource and reliable partner. While Shalom Center has laid a clear path of achievement, the organization will not rest on its past accomplishments. Shalom Center is focused on the future and Shalom Center will continue expanding its legacy of success in its mission while broadening its scope and flexing to serve evolving community development needs.