WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 27, 2012) — The White House honor Hee Joo Yoon Thursday in Los Angeles.
Ms. Yoon is one of eleven housing counselors and HUD-approved organizations being recognized as Champions of Change for their hard work, perseverance and dedication to their communities. She has been selected for outstanding commitment and achievement representative of the collective work of thousands of housing counselors across the United States.
“Housing counselors work tremendously hard, each and every day, to help families realize the American dream,” said White House Senior Advisor, Valerie Jarrett. “From helping homeowners avoid foreclosure to making sure tenants understand their rights to working with borrowers to restore their credit, the men and women we honor today truly are ‘Champions of Change.’”
The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities.
Yoon is the program director at Korean Resource Center, founded in 1983, and now serves over 11,000 predominantly low-income limited English proficient Korean American immigrants. She formally joined KRC as program director in January of 2005 after working nearly twelve years as a volunteer.
She has over two decades of experience in strategic planning, program planning and evaluation, capacity building, fiscal management, fundraising, community outreach, and management of multicultural teams and projects. Her project expertise is financial empowerment for low-income and immigrants.
Yoon provides workshops on foreclosure prevention, housing counseling, volunteer income tax assistance, and credit education, as well as individual counseling for hundreds of community members every year. She launched KRC’s foreclosure prevention counseling program in 2008 as part of the organization’s financial empowerment project.
In part because of Yoon’s tireless efforts, KRC has become a HUD approved housing counseling agency in July 2010.
Yoon served as the national executive director of Korean Americans for Peace and Justice, as well as a board member of Caju Food Co-op, and is a member of the HanNuRi Korean American Cultural Troupe. She is a long time California resident, serving on boards and volunteering in many community advocacy campaigns. She was born in the Republic of Korea and immigrated to the United States with her family in 1991.
Housing counseling assistance was developed over 40 years ago at a time of severe disinvestment in housing, unaffordable interest rates, high unemployment and irresponsible lending practices. Today, HUD approves, monitors and supports counseling organizations and tracks their output.
Recent initiatives have extended the number and location of HUD-approved housing counseling organizations and reduced the amount of time and complexity of the process to award HUD housing counseling grants. To learn more about our Champions and watch video of the event go toHYPERLINK “http://www.whitehouse.gov/champions”www.whitehouse.gov/champions.