The Journey of a Young Mom in Search of a Place to Call Home
As we begin the 2012 Combined Housing Campaign it is appropriate to look at the real purpose of this campaign. The Combined Housing Campaign is a “pedal to the metal” fundraising campaign for five organizations. These organizations, Anawim Housing, Community Housing Initiatives, Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity, Hawthorn Hill and HOME, Inc. are all organizations that actively work to provide affordable housing and the financial literacy and discipline to sustain that housing. It’s only right to use the term Combined in the title of our campaign because that is what these organizations are doing. Working together with the PCHTF raising funds that go directly to the organizations for instant impact in the community. Read about Christine a single mom who found herself on a downward slope, but thanks to our donors who support the organizations she was able to turn her life around.
Homeownership Dream Comes True!
Christine found herself wondering what her future was going to be while sitting in jail in Waterloo. She had been arrested for drugs and her life was going nowhere. Christine had been using meth since her father introduced her to the drug when she was 12 years old. She was now a young adult with two small children to take care of and realized she had to do something soon to be the mother her children needed. She knew if she continued the path she was currently on, she would lose her children.
It was while in jail that Christine made the decision to leave Waterloo and all the bad influences she was associated with there. She found out about House of Mercy in Des Moines. She was accepted into their substance abuse program and immediately moved to Des Moines to reside at House of Mercy. When she and her two children arrived, she had an open case with DHS and was on probation.
Christine was accepted into Hawthorn Hill’s The Home Connection program after completing The House of Mercy inpatient program. Since being in The Home Connection program, Christine has paid off all past debt except for her student loans which she makes regular payments on. She has opened an I-Saves account through ISED and currently is able to receive the maximum amount matched for a family. She plans on using that money for the down payment on a home. Christine has also established a savings account, developed budgeting skills, and improved her credit score.
She has obtained her first full-time job with benefits at Methodist Hospital as a Sterile Technician. She has been working there for almost one year and plans on returning to school for her Surgical Technician certificate. Methodist Hospital has agreed to pay for her to go back to school after she has been there one year. Before she was employed, she achieved her CNA, CNA Extended and her Sterile Procedure Technician Certificate. She no longer receives FIP benefits and her DHS case was closed. Christine still attends regular NA meetings and has been discharged from her probation officer.
Hard-work Pays Off for Single Mom
Once Christine felt more comfortable financially and was ready to take the next step, she applied to partner with GDM Habitat for Humanity. She was accepted into Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program during the fall of 2011. Christine was blessed to have a strong support system including friends, family, and co-workers that supported her through the program and assisted her in completing her sweat equity. Her mother even helped her with sweat equity by volunteering at her local Habitat affiliate in Waterloo!
After taking the required ‘Blueprint to Homeownership’ classes and completing 400 sweat equity hours, while working third shift at her full-time job, Christine became a homeowner on December 17th, 2011. Christine was so excited to become a homeowner that she was able to close on her home and move in on the same day as her dedication!
Christine now has a very bright future for herself and her two children – three year old son Kaleb and six year old daughter Shantell in the Habitat home that she owns.