At least 26 residents will graduate this year from FWHS’ Family Self-Sufficiency program and share in $173,000 in escrow funds saved as their incomes increased and each participant completed a five-year goal plan. Another 16 residents purchased their first home this year through the agency’s Homeownership program.
Crystal Baker, a 40-year-old medical assistant and phlebotomist, earned more than $13,000 through the program as she completed her GED and several professional certifications and found two jobs she enjoys. Now Baker is saving for a house big enough for family gatherings.
“I had been trying to set goals and get things started for years before I learned about the FSS program,” she said. “But there was always something in the way.
“When I got into the program, you have to set goals, and you have to do the next thing to reach them. And there is someone to push you, to guide you and help you look forward to something better.”
Deniqua Freeman, 37, and her four children will enjoy the holidays in her new home in far west Fort Worth, a first for the family that previously lived with relatives or rented. FWHS team members helped Freeman set financial goals and qualify for almost $15,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance that allowed her to close on her first home Oct. 1.
“I for sure wanted a house to call my own, a better education and a better job,” Freeman said. “Once I put my mind to it and made my goal, I had to fulfill it. I had never made goals like that before.”
Freeman’s family is still settling in to the Chapel Creek area home. Her kids put up the tree this year.
“It’s still a shocker to me. I haven’t had time to sit and dwell on it,” she said. “But it’s a relief. It’s exciting. I’m happy and comfortable here.”