Meet the Sisters
S. Barbara Busch (left) with the Shryock family after purchasing their home from WIN in 2010.
Working in Neighborhoods (WIN) empowers people to make informed choices for themselves and their neighborhoods through community building, home ownership and economic learning. – Working In Neighborhoods Mission
S. Barbara Busch helped create WIN in 1978 to assist residents of low- and moderate-income communities work through mortgage problems so they can stay in their houses.
“My father was a carpenter, so in many ways I have a different bent on the family trade with my current ministry,” S. Barbara explained. “I would say my biggest inspiration for founding WIN was the need to create hope and dignity in families who live in poverty. What was and is important to me is the ability of the poor to speak for themselves particularly in the areas of housing and access to heat and lights.
“I believe at Working in Neighborhoods every day we stand with families who have little hope and lack the knowledge to respond to the situation around them,” S. Barbara said. “It is our role to be with them to provide the knowledge they need and to teach them to speak for themselves so they can teach their children to do the same. Every day I have the opportunity to stand up with the poor and I know that we are on God’s side in the fight for justice and hope.”
WIN is a vital ministry in today’s ever-changing culture.
“Our work is relevant in today’s world when so many have to choose between having their homes, heating their homes or feeding their family,” Sister explained. “To work toward changing the systems that oppress is an ever-changing and constant challenge. Our focus since the 1970s on care for the earth through energy conservation, recycling and green housing development allows WIN to be a part of a better world. Our work to stop families from eviction from public housing and foreclosure has kept countless families from becoming homeless.”
In addition, S. Barbara believes, “Our biggest challenge has been working toward and seeing systemic change in the areas of housing, banking and energy reform. By creating a forum for low-income people to speak equally to people who have power is an ever-present goal.”
“My ministry gives me considerable satisfaction when helping people to speak for themselves, thus changing their lives,” S. Barbara said. “When you hear a person say, ‘I can make a difference for my family and my neighbors,’ you know your work is worthwhile. Knowing that we have helped a family have a decent, safe, affordable home that they can call their own is a wonderful accomplishment.”