Congreso is on a Mission 2 Impact! 

Through M2I, Congreso will implement our theory of change, build on our strengths, and work relentlessly to maximize our impact.


Design Lab Delivers! - Housing Team to Launch "Mi Casa"

The Housing team recently went through the Design Lab process and worked closely with Design Consultant, Ryan Jahn on an innovative initiative to design a project called Mi Casa.Mi Casa is an engaging course that uses free online instructional videos blended with hands on workshops to help clients buy a home using digital tools and financial best practices.


Design Lab in Practice 

While sketching out their program’s conversion funnel and  client journey maps, the team realized that there was a need to design a "pre-housing workshop" for clients who, while interested in buying a home, were not equipped with the knowledge or tools to successfully complete the process and achieve their dream. The question that design lab helped the housing team to innovatively answer was - what can we offer this client population to ensure that they are prepared to successfully purchase a home and not fall out early in the process?  

After interviews with staff, analysis of client data, and even interviewing Lenders from financial institutions, the team designed Mi Casa as an interactive, culturally-appropriate pre-requisite course designed for these clients to improve the likelihood of successful outcomes in the home buyer process. This multi-media, project-based learning course enhances the client’s home-buyer knowledge and financial literacy. It also helps build early rapport and trusting relationships with housing counselors which is critical to completing important steps in the pursuit of buying a home. The team's research yielded that while over 400 financial housing literacy curricula currently exist in the market, very few are concise and user friendly, and none are linguistically and culturally specific to the Latino community.

Mi Casa seeks to solve this!  This past March, the team took everything they learned in Design Lab and drew up a “pitch deck” to pitch their idea to one of our funders -  UnidosUS (formerly NCLR) and were recently awarded $40,000 to get started, with the opportunity to get additional funds in January 2020!  The team will be going to work to build prototypes of the Mi Casa modules, and running experiments with clients and staff to rapidly learn and adjust them to optimize user-friendliness and effectiveness at moving clients forward in the home buying process. This is a great example of how Design Lab can support teams with exploring their programs, identifying areas of improvement and innovation, designing creative solutions to problems, and pursuing flexible funding in order to launch them! Let's congratulate the housing team on their great work. We are excited to see Mi Casa in action!

Housing Team Testimony

“It was exciting for the team to take a real project through the techniques of the design lab to help us create Mi Casa. The intent was to create Mi Casa to be tailored to the community we serve with the focus of home ownership and to improve the services that Housing Counselors provide. This is one of the first projects that we were able to create based on the needs of the clients we serve and not based on what the funder required.” - Hildaliz Escalante-Nimchuk, Housing Director


Check out some key slides from the Mi Casa Pitch Deck below!


Frequently Asked Questions*:

How does PCM relate to M2I? 

PCM is the consistent “How” in regards to our services. We are currently working on the "Why" (ie: M2I to improve our impact and help our clients achieve our mission outcomes) and the "What" (the implementation strategy to update our program portfolio and focus on our target population). The "How" is our PCM model, its skills and pillars. PCM will adapt along with us, but PCM is still extremely (if not more so) relevant to M2I, since it provides the guiding principles to the interactions we have with clients. PCM can strengthen, evolve with, and influence M2I. Efforts have already started in regards to applying M2I into PCM outputs such as Quality Circles and Resource Seminars, which have highlighted design lab experiences and provided education and discussion around important elements of M2I such as internal referral practices and logic models. PCM activities are opportunities to engage with staff, share information, and gather feedback around a variety of M2I topics. 

*A list of 16 frequently asked questions was compiled in December and we will continue to include responses in future updates. 

Stay Tuned!

Please attend the Division Open Houses next week (April 23 -26) to learn more about all of the awesome programs Congreso has to offer! Please refer to the calendar invites for more information on time and location. Meet colleagues, ask questions, and receive information! 


Questions? Ideas? Feedback? Want more information? Please reach out to Julia Rivera at

Congreso de Latinos Unidos
216 W. Somerset St.,  | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  19133
215-763-8870 |

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