Self-help Programs Make Dreams Come True

Helen Phillips is 81 years old. Her daughter, Nancy, is 43 years old. Nancy lives with her mother, and has been dependent on her for care, nurturing, moral support, and friendship. Nancy has Dystonia, and has spent most of her life in a wheelchair. She and her mother worried about what would happen to Nancy when her mother passed away. Nancy wouldn't be able to afford or care for her mother's home at Helen's passing. She was scared of ending up homeless, with no quality of life left.

Nancy heard about a program offered by Community Frameworks called HomeStarts, so she applied. HomeStarts is a self-help homeownership program, which means applicants must contribute sweat-equity toward the purchase of their new home. Though Nancy was in a wheelchair, Community Frameworks found support tasks that Nancy was capable of doing, and she never missed a day at the work site, even with medical treatments and health issues. She was a great worker and a role model for the other families.

Nancy purchased a 2-bedroom accessible condo in July 2005. The Homestarts Program brought new hope to Nancy and Helen's lives. Nancy now owns her own home, she can afford her house payment, and she'll never have to worry about her security again. She sweated alongside five other families who were also building their homes. She got to know her new neighbors, and these other families will keep an eye out for Nancy in the future.

Nancy writes, "Owning my own home has given me a very secure feeling. To know that tomorrow I'm not going to find myself homeless has been incredibly comforting. For the last eighteen years I've lived in fear about what the future held. The possibility of finding affordable housing with my income seemed like a great challenge. Now I can't possibly explain the peace of mind you and your wonderful program have given me.

"When I first had the idea of securing my future by looking for affordable housing, I nearly gave up. I'd just kind of resigned myself that one day I'd be homeless. Your program made it possible for me to reach my dream.

"My biggest worry was that, as my health degenerated, I would find myself losing my sense of independence which I so cherish. The condo is absolutely perfect and I look forward to being as self sufficient as possible for many years to come.

"Most of all I wanted to thank the team at Community Frameworks for being so nice and accommodating. Owning my own home seemed like an impossible task. You truly made my dream come true. Thank you!"

Learn more about Community Frameworks HomeStarts (

Content Archived: August 16, 2011