The JP UP Date: City Of St. Louis Home Repair Program Launches

Katie ArnoldThe JP UP date

Number 76                            July 17, 2020                                   St. Louis

Justine PETERSEN to Administer Home Repair Program for City of St. Louis Homeowners

Justine PETERSEN is pleased to announce the start of a new owner-occupied, home rehab program for income-eligible homeowners in St. Louis City. As an Affordable Housing Trust Fund awardee, JP will assist homeowners in preserving their asset by providing up to $5,000 in forgivable funds per household to be used for eligible home repairs. Eligible homeowners must live in the City with household income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Interested homeowners are encouraged to reach out to Cait Baker, by email ( or by phone (314-533-2411 x 138), for more information and to receive an application. Funds are limited, so act fast!

2020 AMI guidelines are as follows:

Family Size 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Max Income $46,450 $53,035 $59,700 $66,300 $71,650 $79,650 $82,250 $87,550

Source: HUD April 2020, Effective April 2020

The Pandemic Diaries: Redefined

The Pandemic Diaries was a weekly reflection penned by individual Justine PETERSEN staff members in the style of journaling, chronicling the daily reality of working from home in the wake of Covid-19.  In light of us fighting the long entrenched pandemic of structural racism and inequality, the series will now include diary submissions reflecting on what it means to live in a world that is unjust, and what can and should be done for “cultural course correction.” This week’s diary entry is written by Abiel Ogbe, Compliance Director at Justine PETERSEN.  

To me, “systematic racism” felt like the elephant in the room that wasn’t talked about enough. I always thought most people were aware of racist issues that people of color had to deal with. It’s becoming clear that that was not always the case. It might not be so clear when someone is not experiencing it or even witnessing it.

For so long, well, since forever really, the issues of systematic racism in the judicial system, education, healthcare and corporate America are still being ignored.  It took a victim of police brutality on camera in front of the world for people to finally wake up. And wake up, they did.

I’m glad to see so many people get up and get involved to try to push for change. Everywhere you look people are standing together to fight against the injustices. But change won’t happen overnight. A part of me is somewhat worried that this unity will slowly fade away and things will go back to the norm.   The question now is, how do we keep this momentum going? What are the next steps? Where do we go from here? How can we really make a difference?

JP Staffer Franchot Cunningham Participates in Credit Builders Alliance (CBA) Symposium Panel

Franchot Cunningham, a seasoned Asset Building Counselor at JP, recently presented at the Credit Builders Alliance Symposium about his work assisting returning citizens with building their credit, opening businesses, and reaching their financial goals.   During the panel discussion, titled “Reducing Recidivism Through Asset Building:  Supporting Financial Resiliency for Returning Citizens,”  Franchot shared the credit score gains returning citizens have experienced after establishing goals with a counselor and opening and managing a simple credit-building product like Justine PETERSEN’s Save2Build loan. Overall, 65% of Save2Build borrowers saw an increase in their credit score. Borrowers with credit scores at or below 520 saw an average increase of 75 points. Franchot also shared tips for working with returning citizens interested in exploring entrepreneurship.


Chonda Aiello has had much to celebrate recently.  She just marked her 19th employment anniversary at Justine PETERSEN, and this week she celebrated a birthday!  JP likes to party, so Chonda has delivered in that department as of late – not to mention she has delivered, and always delivers, as part of Team Micro.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHONDA!!!!!