A Profile of Deloria Stokes
“The American Dream is still alive and with IMPACT’s help, my dream of home ownership has become a reality.” --Deloria Stokes, IDA program
My life after IMPACT is centered around being the proud owner of newly a constructed 4-bedroom home. I am a 44-year-old single parent who wanted a safe, affordable home to rear my children.
I found out about the Individual Development Account (IDA) program offered through Financial Services at IMPACT Community Action. Signing up for the IDA program was a simple non – intimidating process; however, buying a home was complex and admittedly, I felt a little discouraged at first. I looked at my income, I had no savings and no plan. But IMPACT and the Columbus Urban League (CUL) turned that all around for me.
I was enrolled in the Columbus Urban League’s 700 Club and Home Buyer’s education course where I learned step-by–step everything that I needed to know about purchasing a home. Once I received financial coaching and completed my financial literacy requirements for IMPACT, I opened an (IDA) through 5/3 Bank. I was required to save a minimum of $500 towards my goal.
I saved the first $500 dollars within three months of my enrollment and continued to save until I had a total of $2,000 within a year. After saving the first $500, I then received an 8:1 match of $4,000 dollars from both IMPACT and Ohio CDC. I was happy and I was scared at the same time. I’ve been in Columbus only five years and have accomplished so much. I love roller coasters and this was the ride of a lifetime. Home buying has its ups and downs and rapid curves in paperwork. I was thrilled and still terrified but, with encouragement from my family and friends, I made a declaration to myself, “ok ‘D’ this is really happening.”
My loan application was approved through Habitat for Humanity and I finally had a place that I could call home. I was able to participate in the construction of my new home from start to finish and purchase my home at a much lower cost.
When we sit at our dinner table, I look at my children Shianne and Dwayne and I am truly grateful to God for IMPACT Community Action, the Columbus Urban League and Habitat for Humanity. Mayor Coleman used to say that Columbus is the best place to work, live and raise a family. Well I say, Columbus is the best place to realize the American Dream…now I own my piece of the American dream.
*This story is a part of our "Life After IMPACT" Publication.