April 16, 2014

Washington, PA — Community Action Southwest’s Irene Keirsbilck was honored as the Community Action Association’s Staff Member of the Year at the association’s Distinguished Service Awards Banquet held last week in Harrisburg. Keirsbilck is in her 35th year of employment with the agency and since 1987 has been serving as a Housing Counselor.

Irene Keirsbilck with her award

“Over the decades, Irene has proven that her exemplary level of commitment has had a lasting impact on the clients she serves, her community, agency partners and her co-workers,” said Darlene J. Bigler, Community Action Southwest’s Chief Executive Officer. “Irene embodies the image of a true Community Action professional and has dedicated her career to helping people and changing lives in our community.”

Throughout her tenure, Keirsbilck has helped thousands of Washington and Greene County residents to purchase their first homes. For other residents, she’s helped them preserve their home ownership by coordinating and negotiating loan modifications, repayment plans and forbearance agreements so they can avoid foreclosure.

Last year, through Community Action Southwest’s Home Ownership Center, Irene helped the agency assist 67 families to purchase their first home which resulted in $6.4 million dollars of investment in local communities. She also helped an additional 185 households mitigate their mortgage issues.

Over the years, Keirsbilck has secured and maintains a number of certifications through HUD, NeighborWorks and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. “In addition to her work as a Housing Counselor, Irene has also served as a mentor to a number of Community Action Southwest’s staff members, enabling each of them to better assist their clients while helping them to develop as professionals in the human services field,” said Bigler.

Community Action Southwest’s Home Ownership Center is part of the agency’s Community Action WORKS initiative designed to serve its clients in a comprehensive fashion. Addressing housing, adult education, employability, skills and asset development, while creating opportunities and providing support for economic independence is the framework in which client success is realized.

For additional information regarding the Home Ownership Center or other programs available at Community Action Southwest, please call 1.877.814.0788.