When Elijah was a baby, he and his mother Tia lived with his grandmother. Tia was grateful to have a place to stay, but knew it was only a temporary solution. Elijah was growing fast and there wasn’t room for an active child to play and explore. With rents in the District growing as quickly as her son, and most of her income going to child care, Tia was scrambling to provide a safe and secure future. And then she made a big, bold decision: she was going to buy a home. It took her several years – but she did it. And you helped make it possible.
Your previous gifts to Washington Area Women’s Foundation were invested in programs like the Homebuyers Club, which helps low-income families like Tia’s buy homes through peer support, professional guidance and financial education. Your support transforms families and our entire community.
Tia’s story might sound familiar – she shared her experience at the 2006 Leadership Luncheon. That day, she told the audience how impossible becoming a homeowner seemed – at first.
"I used to think that because I was a single mom it would be too hard for me to buy a house,” she said. “I thought that I didn’t earn enough money and that my childcare expenses would stop me.”
In making the bold decision to move from being a renter to a homeowner, Tia took the first step on the path to financial stability for her and her son. I’m revisiting Tia’s story, because I want you to know that your donations are long-term investments in women and in the Washington region. I’m happy to tell you that seven years after she first shared her story, Tia and Elijah remain in their home, and that buying her home changed the course of her life and that of her son’s.
Elijah is in the fourth grade now. He and Tia’s favorite thing to do is hang out in their living room, playing games and watching movies. They have the stability and security that comes with being in the same house and neighborhood for years, and are important members of their community. And Tia is working to help more families follow in their footsteps. She now volunteers at the Homebuyers Club. She provides childcare for other mothers just starting on the path she took nearly a decade ago – but maybe more importantly, she helps them believe it’s a path they dare to walk down.
“There’s nothing greater than feeling like you can provide for your kids,” she says. “Being a homeowner is a struggle sometimes. But I have the security of knowing I still have a roof over my head. I always have shelter. I always have the security of home.”
Over the past 15 years, supporters like you have made it possible for low-income women and girls to find security through new and better jobs, access to affordable, high-quality early education, and increasing assets. With these targeted investments, we can work together to end poverty in our community. But it’s going to take big, bold action. When change seemed impossible, Tia had the courage to make a bold move.
Nicky Goren President
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