A Circle Leader’s path to homeownership

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Circles East Liberty and Open Hand Ministries have had several reasons to celebrate over the past couple of weeks. We matched our 4th Cohort of Circle Leaders and Allies, our 3rd Cohort celebrated their 18 month milestone with Circles, and our prospective homeowners have continued to make great strides on their paths to home-ownership. One of those Leaders, Desi-Rai LaPrade, has been with Circles for over 2 years and will purchase her own home with Open Hand Ministries in 2018. Desi-Rai was recently interviewed by East Liberty Development about her experience relocating from East Liberty Gardens, and her participation in Circles and OHM. Check out a selection from the interview below, and read the full story with the link to follow. It is in honor to work with driven, hard working people like Desi-Rai everyday! 

“How did you first hear of and get involved with Open Hand Ministries and Circles? 

Tracey [Property Manager of East Liberty Gardens] referred me and gave me Tammy’s [Tammy Thompson, Family Development Coordinator at OHM] number. I called her and she told me to come over. I immediately fell in love with the program and all of the great people I met.

What appealed to you about the process? 

How everyone shows how much they care about helping families succeed, not only in home ownership, but also with improving our lives.

What are the steps you are currently undertaking to become a homeowner? 

OHM showed me three homes, and I chose the one I wanted. I am currently saving for my down payment and working on improving my credit.

What has been the most challenging part of everything so far?

Budgeting my expenses because I never tracked my spending prior to working with OHM and Circles.

What are you most proud of when you look back at where you started until now? 

Seeing the person I have become. When I started Circles, I had just started working again and within a year of being in the program I was offered a new job making more money. I have learned so much from this program — from budgeting to taxes to health and wellness — things I would have never imagined learning if I hadn’t been a part of this program/family.

How have Circles / OHM allies guided you through the experience? 

My ally and the whole Circles family have given me so much support throughout this whole process. Showing me different ways to save and budget my expenses and methods to help me with my health and wellness goals as well.”

Check out the full interview here: http://www.eastliberty.org/foreclosure-new-affordable-housing-desi-rai-laprade-shares-story/

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