Ms. Vanessa Smith, a Machine worker born in the Carrollton area with "grown children" as she states , Did not want to return to the uptown area for purchasing her first home at first. "My grandmother and Grandfather lived in Central City , but all the houses were destroyed after Katrina",
"But Harmony has transformed the blight into something beautiful, and I decided to give the program a chance. The toughest part was getting my credit together, and I found out that people will help you. I never dreamed I could become a homeowner because my income was so low. I am grateful for programs like Harmony's and Section 8 to Homeownership that gives hardworking individuals like myself the opportunity to own a home! I have learned to manage my money and am saving more as a homeowner!
When asked about sharing her experience with others , she replied "EVERBODY should try...Go for it!! - Vanessa Smith
Ms. Sharon Ridgley, a New Orleans native, and long-time Central City resident heard about the program through a flyer she saw in the neighborhood. Though at the time she was 62 years old and on the job for 8 years, she never owned a home or thought it would even be possible because of her low-income. Ms. Ridgley, 1st time homeowner at 62 years old, mother of 3, grandmother of 9, and great-grandmother of 6 was renting only a few blocks from her new HARMONY home.
Ms. Ridgley spent 2 years in Harmony's Wealth and Asset Building Program overcoming her credit challenges, eliminating bad debt, and building savings. Now Ms. Ridgley owns a beautiful 3bd, 2/12 bath, equipped with all stainless steel appliances, solar panels, fenced yard, and off-street parking. Thanks to the City of New Orleans Soft Second Program and the Housing Authority of New Orleans, she has a mortgage that is AFFORDABLE!
This is a great illustration of what can happen when funding is leveraged in the right way to build community and when like-minded organizations partner.