Woman goes from homeless to first owner

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Hoagland took advantage of programs to help her increase her credit rating in order to eventually buy a home, she said. She plans to close a five-bedroom house on Friday, October 15, about five years after joining Family Promise.

Having an eviction on your record can be costly in obtaining a home loan in the future.

“An eviction here looks a lot like a scarlet letter,” said Lindsey McCamy, executive director of Family Promise. “We don’t do that very often, to go from homeless to owner. It takes time, as there are a lot of steps in between.

Hoagland is one of the few people who have gone through Family Promise and now own their own home, said Laura Sumner, a staff member of Family Promise.

The organization has undergone significant changes over the past two years, moving to its new facility at 3606 McEver Road towards the end of 2019, McCamy said. Sewer issues have delayed the opening of new shelters, but staff plan to soon open 11 rooms for families in need, with the first three opening in January 2022, she said.

Even while the shelters were being built, Family Promise launched new programs at the former United Methodist Church on McEver Road, such as adding a food market in October 2020. The organization is also in the process of obtaining a license. to expand child care services with plans to add a baby room, a toddler room and a pre-K room, McCamy said.

The family pledge will likely allow families to stay put longer than their usual 90-day limit, McCamy said, so staff can help on a deeper level as he helped Hoagland.

“We did this a lot better and tried to go a little deeper with our families instead of just covering things on the surface,” she said.

Between leaving Family Promise and closing a house in Gainesville, Hoagland still had a lot to overcome. And during his time at Family Promise, Hoagland received a lot of love from the staff.

At one point, the organization loaned Hoagland a car, so Hoagland had a way to get to work and transport his children, McCamy said. They have since halted the program, but have asked Hoagland to make small monthly payments for all maintenance needs, McCamy said.

Hoagland did not make any of those payments, McCamy said. Staff tried to send him letters and emails on several occasions warning him that there would be consequences, and eventually they decided they needed to collect their car.

One day, while Hoagland was shopping in a Publix, McCamy saw the car and picked it up, leaving Hoagland stranded in the parking lot with his groceries, believing his car had been stolen, Hoagland said.


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