The founder of H.O.P.E. (Help Our Potential Evolve), Stella joined forces with the Eastern Eight Community Development Corporation, Fort Robinson Baptist Church and Central Baptist Church for the purpose of helping people with the home ownership process. In February, they are offering a One Stop Shop Home Ownership Workshop for anyone interested in becoming a homeowner.
The public is invited to attend this unique workshop, which will cover filling out a loan application, getting pre-approved for a loan, meeting with local realtors, free tax preparation, education on what grants are available, and details about how to receive down-payment assistance for first time homeowners.
“I want everyone in the community that’s even thought about becoming a homeowner to know that they can come (to this event),” said Stella. “It doesn’t matter if they make $12,000 or $100,000 if they are not educated on how to do it. We’re going to have the experts there to teach and show them,” she added. One such expert will be Mark Hagar, the Community Development Director of the City of Kingsport. Mark will address such issues as down payment assistance and programs that help to finance repairs in the home when the homeowner can’t afford it.
The One Stop Shop program grew out of one of the many classes H.O.P.E. offers to the youth of our community. A parent of one of the teens attending a real estate class asked if she was too old to be a homeowner. “I was like, absolutely not! I would like to see everyone that comes to a workshop become a homeowner,” said Stella.
The project hasn’t been without its setbacks, however. The fire that destroyed the food pantry at Central Baptist Church in December also cost H.O.P.E. its office, which was located next door. Smoke damage ruined office equipment and furniture and forced them to leave the office Central Baptist had so graciously provided.
“I worried about it, but you know that God is good. I think He shuts one door and opens another for us. We just don’t realize it at the time,” Stella said. Fortunately, First Broad Street United Methodist Church, a partner of H.O.P.E, had a rental home available which H.O.P.E. is currently settling into. “God is always on time, I tell you!” Stella said.
As Stella and H.O.P.E. volunteers get the new office in order, they continue to work tirelessly to help others find a place of their own. The One Stop Shop Home Ownership Workshop will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 11 a.m. at Fort Robinson Baptist Church, located at 2012 Fort Robinson Drive, in Kingsport.
The event is free, and a free lunch will be provided to those who RSVP by Feb. 14.
To pick up an application prior to the event, stop by the H.O.P.E. office at 618 Watauga Street in Kingsport. For more information about the event, call Stella at (423) 276-6541 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.