Justine PETERSEN was incorporated in 1997. We have four core programs:
- Credit Building and Financial Education: A strong credit profile can have life-changing results. JP counselors provide one-on-one counseling for individuals and families on how to take control of their financial future, regardless of income or credit history. Counseling topics include: Debt management and establishment of strong lines of on-time payment history, explanation of scoring systems, verification and settlement of debt, inactive vs active trade lines, the statute of limitations, and credit as a savings mechanism. Group Financial Capability classes are offered monthly to supplement client progress on their individual credit action plan.
- Homeownership Preparation and Retention: In recent years, studies have shown a strong correlation between non-delinquency and owners who received homeownership counseling. As a HUD-certified Housing Counseling Agency, Justine PETERSEN provides individual pre-and post-purchase counseling, homebuyer education, and foreclosure prevention counseling. Homeownership is viewed as an asset development activity. Specific counseling topics include basic terminology, assessing readiness for homeownership, identifying steps and timeline of home buying, and description of mortgage products and home purchase programs associated with first-time home buyers.
- Microenterprise Technical Assistance and Lending: As an SBA Microloan Intermediary Lender, Justine PETERSEN assists small businesses to access affordable financing for business capitalization. Free technical assistance seminars are also offered for business development. Justine PETERSEN also utilizes the partnership of its subsidiary, Great Rivers Community Capital (GRCC), to lend to under-served populations through micro-loans, small business loans, contractor loans, and consumer loans.
- Property Development: Due to the housing crisis and the resulting abundance of foreclosure/abandoned properties, JP has increased its property development work over the past few years to renovate and restore owner-occupied neighborhoods. Our comprehensive involvement in development has extended to include rental housing and homeownership developments. JP is a National Community Stabilization Trust approved entity and has successfully acquired donation properties from Wells Fargo through the Trust. Development funds are secured through federal HOME Program, the Illinois Attorney General Foreclosure Settlement, and bank financing. JP is an approved Community Housing Development Organization in Madison County, IL.