Nancy Garcia: First Time Homebuyer
In August of 2012, Nancy Garcia became a single mother of two and was forced to face the reality of providing for her children alone. With no savings, Nancy and her children moved into a two-bedroom apartment and began living paycheck to paycheck. Buried under credit card debt and feeling the pressure of her two growing children in their small apartment, Nancy knew she had to do something to change her family’s situation. By writing a budget and prioritizing her spending, Nancy was able to save for an emergency fund and began paying off her debt. “I became addicted to living on less and saving money,” Nancy said. “For the first time since being single and childless, I had savings!” As Nancy’s saving began to grow and her debt started to shrink, she began researching information for first time homebuyers.
Like many first time buyers, Nancy did not know much about the process and the available assistance programs – that is when she found Avenue’s Homeownership Center. “I was able to ask a lot of questions in class and learned a ton about the home buying process,” said Nancy. By working with Avenue’s homebuyer advisor and financial coach, Monika Galikova, Nancy was able to learn all the aspects of the home buying process as well as create a realistic financial plan for her family. “It was starting to become a reality,” said Nancy. “I enjoyed browsing HAR and Zillow during my free time, keeping my eye on the prize: my new home.” In May of 2016, Nancy closed on her brand-new home –and even had extra funds to furnish her new place.
“Buying a home has been a challenging and rewarding experience,” said Nancy Garcia. “I learned how much strength and determination I have. We love being in our home and are looking forward to making many memories here!”
Huge congrats to Nancy and her beautiful family – we wish you all the best!
Avenue Students Hit the Books in Style
On average, families with children in grades K-12 spend an average $673.57 on back-to-school supplies and apparel. Purchasing the required supplies can be difficult for families who are on a tight budget. Kicking off the new school year should be an exciting time, which is why our friends at Hess Corporation provided young residents of Avenue communities with backpacks stocked full of the back-to-school essentials.
Thank you Hess for helping us ensure that all Avenue students are able to put their best foot forward in the classroom and beyond!
See our students’ smiling faces at the back-to-school event supported by Hess.
Resident Spotlight: Jeremy Wright’s Bright Future
Resident involvement is essential to achieving positive change in communities – and the participation of young residents is critical to the sustainability of these efforts. While in high school, Northside resident Jeremy Wright joined the Davis Leadership team, a group created by Avenue to give young residents an opportunity to participate in neighborhood improvement activities. Jeremy and his fellow team members were key leaders in the successful advocacy effort to secure $19 million in capital improvement funds to rebuild Northside High School, which was a tremendous victory for the Northside community. Jeremy continued his community involvement this summer with an internship with Texas State Representative Jessica Farrar, where he helped plan and implement the Northside Back-to-School Health and Resource Fair.
Jeremy says that his motivation to make his community a better place has been inspired by the example of his mother, a long-time Northside resident who lives at Oak Arbor, one of Avenue’s apartment communities. Stable, quality housing is essential to children’s physical and mental development. Beyond providing stable homes, Avenue provides afterschool programming at all of our multi-family developments. The programs are aimed at boosting academic performance, promoting physical health, and providing an outlet for creativity, in a safe, structured environment for the children of working parents. A balanced, healthful supper is also provided.
This fall, Jeremy will embark on his next adventure – college. He plans to major in biology at the University of Texas at Austin. Jeremy’s tenacity to succeed is inspiring and we know he will accomplish many great things in his next chapter!
Save the Date — Art on the Avenue!
The 20th annual event is Houston’s largest silent art auction, featuring original artwork and jewelry from over 300 local artists. Every purchase supports local artists as well as affordable housing initiatives and community revitalization efforts that benefit low-income Houston families and neighborhoods.
Click here for more information.