Success is seeing a family break the thorny grip of generational poverty and experience the joys of homeownership, the first step on the road to the prosperity to which everyone is entitled to pursue.
Petra Smiley’s story is one of hard work, hope and determination. She works at Mount Bethel Baptist Institutional Church as an office manager, earning $18,000 annually. She was a renter for over 20-years, living in subsidized housing for the last 7 years. Homes Bring Hope brought together a realtor, lender, two down-payment assistance programs, a title company, a surveyor, and experts in the housing area to help her become the organization’s first homeowner. Its team worked to cut real estate commissions, loan transaction fees, and title costs. Sliger & Associates conducted a survey, without a fee. Halifax Urban Ministries, another HBH Partner, gifted Petra with a 5-year home warranty and more. Ms. Smiley’s primary motivation to pursue a home of her own has been her children. She wants to raise them in a safe neighborhood with good schools.
I am proud to be the first member of my family to own his own home, a dream I feared would never come true. I come from a broken family, from which I was separated at a young age. Now, even though I am in my late thirties and have a career as a recruiter at Daytona State College, I lack the income to have saved for a home – and I lack the experience to navigate the complexities of qualifying for homeownership. Homes Bring Hope provided me with connections to a realtor, a lender, down payment assistance, reduced closing costs, home warranty, and so much more. In short, Homes Bring Hope has given me opportunity…and hope. Owning my own home would make my parents in Colombia so proud; and it makes me so grateful.
I am fortunate to have a job, working 6-days a week, and be able to provide for my family of four. While I never really believed I could become a homeowner, I’ve always dreamed of buying a house. I’ve dreamed of welcoming family for extended visits, and my children owning pets. I consider it a miracle that Homes Bring Hope has become part of my life. Its staff and volunteers have done what I thought would be impossible. They helped me qualify to buy a home despite my limited income and lack of experience. They have helped me every step of the way and they are still helping me as I adjust from being a life-long renter to being a proud homeowner.
As a single mother of two amazing boys, it has always been my heart’s desire to be able to purchase a home. I work for an awesome university with wonderful people at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide as a Worldwide Career Services Project Manager. But even with such a good job, qualifying to become a homeowner was not possible. Until now. We lost everything in a house fire last year. Now, I’m blessed to work with the Homes Bring Hope organization. With its counsel, advocacy, and assistance I have been able to qualify for homeownership. And recently, I have purchased the very home I have dreamed of owning. I am seeing my prayers answered and for that I thank God – and the wonderful people affiliated with Homes Bring Hope.