For the last 55 years, Fahe Member People Inc. has been helping residents of Virginia build their futures and realize their dreams. People Inc. strives to provide opportunities for individuals who are economically disadvantaged by offering programs that help enhance their lives, families, and communities. The variety of programs People Inc. offers includes housing, child and family development, community economic development, and community services.
One of their most successful housing programs is the Homeownership Program in Southwest Virginia. Since the program began in 2009, People Inc. has closed over 200 loans with a total impact of $21.2 million dollars within the community. In addition to its success, the program has become a generational experience. Throughout the last ten years, children have watched their parent(s) go through the Homeownership Program and have great success. Now, some of those children are old enough to become homeowners themselves. Because of their firsthand experience of the transformational change of owning a home, these children have decided to also take the step of homeownership to for their families. Thanks to their parents’ positive experiences, these people have chosen to start their homeownership journey with People Inc. Below is a success story about one mother and her two children who have become, or are about to become, homeowners through People Inc.
In August of 2015, a client named Julia came to People, Inc. to get pre-qualified for a home loan. She cried all the way through the first meeting because she was escaping an abusive relationship and was overwhelmed and anxious about housing for her family.
We helped Julia work on her spending, provided credit counseling, and helped her write letters to the CRAs. By October 2015, she escaped the relationship but was now homeless with two teenage children. In order to provide shelter for her family, she began renting an expensive, small trailer month by month. She then experienced identity theft in November but we were able to help her put a fraud alert on her credit report. However, during this time of increased hardship, Julia didn’t give up. She changed her last name back to her maiden name, which was very empowering for her. She attended the Homeownership Education Program, with her therapy dog, and continued to work on her budget and credit report. In March of 2016, she started her loan application with the USDA Rural Development 502 Direct Loan Program. Julia found the perfect home for her family and closed her loan on June 28, 2016.
During a phone interview, Julia shared her experience with the Homeownership Program: “Training is oriented to being a successful homeowner, but People Inc. provide more than that. You provide the opportunity to pull people up and provide information to succeed in a new phase of life. Jamie, who is very patient and kind, provided life-style changes and education, and I went from homeless to homeowner in 9 months!”
Julia’s daughter, Emily, was a teenager when her mother got her home. She came to People, Inc. to get pre-qualified in February of 2018. She had learned many lessons from her mother’s experience. Emily was so organized. She attended the Homeownership Education Program in March of 2018. Emily is young and didn’t have an extensive credit history so she needed to establish alternative credit references. She was on hold until July 2018 to establish credit. She decided on a house in the City of Bristol, VA and switched to a VHDA FHA loan. The first house she tried to buy had a home inspection she was not satisfied with and she decided on another home in the city. Emily met with the loan originator from VHDA in August 2018 and closed her loan on September 28, 2018, becoming another happy homeowner in the family.
Julia’s son, Ben, is now in the process of looking for a home to buy. He has been pre-qualified for a USDA Rural Development Guaranteed loan. The Homeownership Program at People, Inc. has improved the lives of three people in one family. By providing the opportunity of homeownership to Julia, we were able to provide opportunity and hope for the whole family, which has instilled in her children the power and value of homeownership. It truly is a generational experience.
Each of Member of the Fahe Network changes the lives of people and communities through a variety of programs and resources. Access to homeownership is one of the most common and most empowering services provided. To learn more about People Inc., visit their website at https://www.peopleinc.net/. To learn more about Fahe Members and their coverage area, visit www.fahe.org/members.