WATCH is a nonprofit, member-driven community development corporation in Waltham. WATCH works towards a more just community in the Waltham area by promoting and advancing affordable housing, providing adult education and leadership development and empowering underrepresented residents through civic engagement. WATCH's work is underscored by community building and community organizing. WATCH connects, convenes and empowers a diverse range of community members in influencing local issues so that the systems in play in Waltham benefit the whole community and not just a few.
Since our founding in 1988, we have developed 36 permanently affordable housing units, trained over 2,100 hopeful first time homebuyers, enhanced the English language, job skills and leadership skills of over 1.500 adults, and organized thousands of residents to effectively act for change on important community issues.
Today, WATCH's work reflects the range of needs and interests of our community members. There are many ways for community members to connect with WATCH:
• Breaking Barriers at WATCH Tutoring: WATCH provides English language and life skills classes with professional teachers for immigrant adults. However, we have so many people seeking to improve their English that we initiated a volunteer tutoring program. The tutoring program and the English classes not only expand the participants' skills, but help them develop as leaders in WATCH and the community at large. No experience is necessary to become a tutor. WATCH's Program Manager, Alex, provides an initial training and ongoing support.
• Tenant Action Group: This group of Waltham tenants support each other in demanding that irresonsible landlords treat tenants as they deserve and as the law demands. The group also engages other WATCH members at key moments to organize around larger issues, such as seeing more affordable housing created in Waltham.
• Energy Efficiency Volunteer: At our Energy Efficiency "Barnraising" events, neighbors get together at a local home to learn about simple, low-cost but high result weatherization skills. Then they get to work implementing them at the home. They work alongside the families who live there, who have been struggling to cover their utiltiy bills. You learn, make new friends and help a neighbor. It's a great day!
• 25th Anniversary Gala committee: 2013 Marks WATCH's 25th year working in and with the Waltham community! We are planning a gala dinner and auction for fall of 2013. The committee is up and running - and it's a strong and fun group - but we could use additional members to help solicit local corporate sponsors and auction items.
• Housing Clinic: In partnership with Brandeis, we train tenants on their rights and responsibilities and provide assistance for urgent housing problems: Mondays & Thursdays from 7:00 – 8:30 pm at WATCH.
• First Time Home Buyers Classes: This class demystifies the home-buying process and helps many hopeful homeowners secure down payment assistance.
• WATCH Community List: Receive a bi-annual newsletter and monthly e-updates on WATCH's work as well as other community efforts that are of interest to our members.
To learn more or sign up for any of the above, call 781-891-6689 x0 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.