Sunday, November 26, 2006


In the next year at least 14 families will get to build their own part of the American dream in Castle Rock.

Next spring, the Lower Columbia Community Action Council (CAP) plans to start work on its latest Self-Help Housing subdivision for low- to moderate-income families. The homes will be built on an old Little League field near the city's water treatment plant.

The goal, officials said, is to allow families to build quality homes they otherwise couldn't afford.

CAP built another subdivision in Castle Rock several years ago, but those homes were smaller and don't have all of the features now available. CAP has wanted another project in the city for some time, said coordinating manager Marie Robbins.

Applications are still being taken for the project, which officials hope to build in two stages of eight homes each. The land they own now -- 100 Michner Street SW -- has room for 14 lots but they hope to buy two more nearby for a total of 16.

While not intentional, the CAP project is part of a recent Castle Rock boom that includes up to 200 conventionally financed homes in or near the city.

Similar CAP subdivisions are underway in Kalama and Napavine. Two more are planned in West Longview -- on 36th and 44th avenues -- and those are still taking applications. Since 1989, the program has helped families build 341 homes in Cowlitz, Lewis and Clark counties. Robbins said many people have the wrong idea about the program and affordable housing in general. The income limit for a family of four is $44,000, for example, which is a good salary but not always enough to pay the bills and buy a home with conventional financing.

"People hear it and think it's housing for people on welfare. And while there's nothing wrong with helping people on welfare, they can't afford these homes and loan payments," Robbins said. "These are your children or your neighbors (building these homes). And the families work for everything that they get."

The program helps families qualify for low-interest loans. Families and friends must commit to 30 hours a week of work until the homes in their project are completed. Loan payments are adjusted based on income, and training is available for all of the work. An on-site supervisor also oversees the projects, which generally take a year to 15 months.

All of the homes are at least three bedrooms. There is no down-payment required, and mortgage payments do not start until a family moves in.

Applicants must meet credit guidelines, but CAP can help people improve their credit scores. About one in five applicants qualify, Robbins said.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Housekeeping project

Self-Help Housing

Of the projects, she said, the one that is consuming the most time right now is Self-Help Housing. The program is one that helps families build their own homes by putting forth "sweat equity" instead of a mortgage or down payment. By putting in 30 hours of labor per week in the construction of the homes, the families obtain the "sweat equity."

Currently, Hunter said, they are constructing three houses for the program, and they have dug all of the basements and are doing the concrete, work which is actually subcontracted out.

"The families are not working yet," Hunter said. "The families won't work until the framing is done."

For now, Hunter said, they are also working on building up the next group of five families, which will allow for the eight homes for which the grant allowed.

Hunter also added they would probably begin writing another grant before all eight of the slots are filled.

"So we'll rewrite probably before the first of the year," Hunter said. "So, hopefully, that will just be a continuous program."

"It's a very exciting program," she added. "It will benefit the community and, again, we're just in the beginning phases of it. These are our first three houses and we're excited."

Monday, November 06, 2006


When you think about self help, what do you think of first? Which aspects of self help are important, which are essential, and which ones can you take or leave? You be the judge.

Anxiety self-help is actually an empowerment of the mind. Assertive self-talks help improve your self confidence significantly. Simple modifications in your daily routine can contribute greatly to the improvement of your state of mind. Time management also helps you live a balanced life. Sharing your feeling with someone is an important way to relieve your anxiety. Involvement in favorite activities is another way to divert the mind.

Regular exercise is recommended for a sound mind and body. Relaxation training can soothe your mind and free it from anxiety. Breathing techniques and muscle-relaxation techniques can be adopted to supplement-relaxation training. Meditation has the power to remove all unnecessary tensions haunting your mind. Taking to spirituality is one of the a time-tested method of relaxing your mind.

If you find yourself confused by what you've read to this point, don't despair. Everything should be crystal clear by the time you finish.

Self-help guidance kits are also available. They include motivating books along with audio and video tapes. Guidance can be sought through the telephone and Internet. A personalized, mineral-enriched diet is also recommended for anxiety relief.

So now you know a little bit about self help. Even if you don't know everything, you've done something worthwhile: you've expanded your knowledge.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


about stutter

Current info about self help is not always the easiest thing to locate. Fortunately, this report includes the latest self help info available.

The kind of advice I was given to control stutter or to overcome thestutter were varied. These are some:

slowing down my breath
costal breathing
prolonged speech
taking a deep breath before spoke

someone had began in the class called, preschool stutter. This term is labelled by the stutter speech therapist or the stutter speech pathologist. Their parents were reassured that most people who stutter in childhood soon grow out of it.

Then joined the class called, childhood stutter. He continued to attend speech therapy and joining in with their speech therapy activities and their speech therapy games.

Those of you not familiar with the latest on self help now have at least a basic understanding. But there's more to come.

Then progressed to the class called, adult stutter. and he now decided that speech therapy was not really working for me.

He decided to try his own form of stutter self help. Even though he had a stutter, at times he could talk very well. As an example when he was drunk, he spoke nearly perfectly fluent.

After nearly a year he managed to overcome his stutter and eradicate the stutter once and for all. As a career now he help other people to stop stuttering.

There's a lot to understand about self help. We were able to provide you with some of the facts above, but there is still plenty more to write about in subsequent articles.