Couple's Dedication to Overcome Debt and Build Financial Stability
The Polk County Housing Trust Fund’s Operating and Supportive Services grant assists Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity (GDM Habitat) in helping to educate homebuyer families for successful homeownership. Additionally, the funding provides the opportunity to provide on-going support where needed for the homebuyer’s development to self-sufficiency. One example of continued development towards self-sufficiency after purchasing a GDM Habitat home comes from Katie, Mike, and their children!
Katie and Mike worked diligently clearing up bad debt prior to purchasing their home from GDM Habitat in 2009. However, once they became homeowners, life threw them some unexpected curves - Mike's hours were cut and Katie's student loans became due. Rather than sit back and do nothing, Katie and Mike joined the Biggest Gainers Club to address their financial concerns.
The Biggest Gainers Club encourages GDM Habitat homeowners to continue to save, make smart financial decisions, and stay invested in homeownership. During classes Katie and Mike tackled collection accounts one at a time. Their credit score increased while their stress level decreased over an eight month period. Katie and Mike used decreasing expenses as a 'family' project. It was suggested and agreed upon by their three children that less fast food meals and fewer movie rentals would be their way of contributing to the financial well being of the family.
Katie and Mike's success through the Biggest Gainers Club helped them realize they wanted their children to have the tools to be successful with their personal finance. In 2011, their two oldest children completed the Youth Financial Education classes offered by GDM Habitat.
Katie and Mike are an excellent example of the success that GDM Habitat’s education programs and support services create in its efforts to break the cycle of poverty and move families to self-sufficiency. It is a vital partnership with the PCHTF that allows GDM Habitat to provide permanent housing in a manner that builds lives and hope.