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From Homeless to Homeowner

Celebrating Homeownership Month | NeighborGood Partners


Meet Tierea.

Black woman in orange shirt, arms crossed, leaning on brick wall, smiling

Tierea’s journey started over 10 years ago when she was attending Delaware Technical Community College and stumbled upon our Stand By Me satellite location on campus. At the time, she connected with our Financial Coach, Jennifer C., who helped guide her through financial education, plus how to build and maintain her credit.

At 19 years old, she wasn’t ready for homeownership, and life took her in a different direction.

Becoming a single mother and after her living situation became uninhabitable, she found herself homeless, living in a shelter with her daughter. But she was hard-working and determined to achieve more.

While participating at a local event with her daughter, Tierea was reintroduced to the services that NeighborGood Partners provided and decided to attend one of the Credit Smart Workshops (now known as LIFT: Learning and Investing for Tomorrow).

This full-day workshop offers:

• Goal Setting

• Budgeting

• Banking

• Savings

• Credit

• Your Financial Plan

The program led to a connection with our partners at Central Delaware’s Habitat for Humanity and the homeownership program that is offered through their services.

“Homelessness motivated me more towards homeownership.”

Potential Habitat for Humanity homebuyers are required to assist in the construction of their home by accruing sweat equity hours, participating in events that raise program awareness, completing financial literacy training, and homebuyer readiness workshops.

And Tierea put in the work.

Within a year, Tierea and her two children moved into a brand new three-bedroom, 1 ½ bath single family home with driveway in downtown Dover’s Restoring Central Dover section.

Connected to the Community

As a homeowner in a neighborhood of challenge and change, Tierea saw a need to be engaged in her community. She reached out to local partners to volunteer and organize community clean-ups and came back to the NeighborGood Partners doorway as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Here, she has added value to her neighborhood and surrounding communities in need.

Always valuing the lessons learned as a foundation to her financial pathway, Tierea states, “There isn’t an area that my head has not laid, or my feet have not touched, that I have a connection and want to build.”

Building and Restoring

Now, you can find Tierea around the Restoring Central Dover’s Community and beyond as our on-staff Community Engagement Specialist.

In this role, she helps strengthen our communities by being an ally to residents’ needs—focusing on community clean-ups, food distribution, bookbag giveaways, youth building activities, neighborhood playdates, and opioid addiction prevention information.

“I am an open book; we can only learn from teaching each other.”

Becoming a homeowner is so much more than buying a home; it’s building and being a part of a safe, prosperous, engaged community.

If you are interested in financial education, homeownership, or how you can be involved in the Restoring Central Dover initiative, reach out and we will connect you to great opportunities!


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