18 Sep Homes of Hope | Affordable Housing, Financial Wellness
Access to affordable housing is not a reality for many people in our community. Families and individuals who face challenges like low-wage jobs, fixed incomes, or unemployment have limited renting or ownership options. Add in other common factors such as criminal history, poor credit, or addiction, and finding safe, affordable housing becomes virtually impossible.
Imagine yourself as a single mother spending 60% of your income on housing; under these circumstances, you would be living in survival mode all of the time. As soon as an unexpected expense came your way, whether big or small, suddenly, you would find yourself in a place of desperation. Combine these high housing costs with a lack of basic financial practices, and you would find yourself in a continuous cycle of survival and desperation.
Homes of Hope (HoH) is working to provide foundational, safe environments for low to moderate income families in the Upstate. By providing affordable, energy-efficient rental and home ownership options, their clients can now afford housing and power bills. Supplemented by HoH’s financial wellness program, affordable housing gives families the freedom of a disposable income so that they can begin saving and investing.
By the Numbers
Homes of Hope has been working
in the Upstate for over 18 years.
Homes of Hope has
built 526 homes.
76 Homes of Hope households
started a budget in 2016.
230 households maintained stable
housing for 2 years.
Once an individual or family becomes a part of their housing program, Homes of Hope provides one-on-one and collective financial training to each client that focuses on the 3 B’s – banking, budgeting, and building savings. Financial wellness training is a necessary element to equip clients to break cycles of generational and situational poverty.
“We don’t make assumptions about people who are low income,” says Don Oglesby, HoH President/CEO, “But many times, our clients don’t have financial wellness know-how. Many of them have never used a bank before; it’s a cultural thing, really. So we first work with our clients on the 3 B’s. We want to start new financial habits. Our clients can grow assets from that. These basic barriers have to be addressed along with the opportunity for affordable housing.”
Ultimately, Homes of Hope is seeking to move each family out of generational cycles. “Our vision for this family is to do the best they can. If we can change the way a person thinks, we can change the way they live. Not only do we change them—we change their children, and their grandchildren, and generational cycles can really be broken.”
The problem of affordable housing throughout the Upstate is multi-faceted, and it’s our desire to partner with organizations like Homes of Hope who are a part of the solution. Grace Church has donated a residential lot and $35,000 to Homes of Hope to build a home.
The empty residential lot near downtown Spartanburg in an under-resourced neighborhood where HoH has already been working. Plans for the lot include a rental home (3 bedroom, 2 bath) for a family of low income. The family will be one who can afford some rent but not the market rent. Through this house, another family with have the opportunity to plug into financial wellness training with HOH.
“We’re not looking to do things for people that they can do for themselves. Instead we are looking for ways to connect them to resources. Social capital is often the piece of the puzzle that’s missing for a low income family,” Don explains. This is a chance for members of Grace to jump in and get involved- connecting with and supporting this family and others who are a part of the HoH program.
“God’s in the life-changing business. There’s nothing wrong with helping people, but life change is where God is. That’s where ministry is. And that’s what God has called us to do.”
Find ways to get involved with Homes of Hope here.