In 2012, Priscilla stumbled on information about Community Home Trust. And although she had no savings, she had a dream of being a homeowner one day. So she applied.
And then she waited.
Priscilla had moved to Chapel Hill from Kenya in 2006 and started over with nothing. Although she worked in the hotel industry in Kenya, once in the United States, she began working as a waitress. She wasn’t making much money, and she certainly did not have the savings she needed to become a homeowner. “When I came in to Community Home Trust with no money or anything, [I expected that I] probably would not hear from them again. But they actually called me in the office, they sat down with me, and I thought, ‘Okay, wow, you’re investing in me.'”
Over the past eight years, Priscilla has attended financial counseling and homeownership classes with CHT. She advanced in her career, and she is now the Catering and Convention Services Manager at Millennium Hotel. In fact, she’s the only person in her department at the hotel who wasn’t laid off because of the pandemic, so she is doing the work of five employees now. And over the years, she kept in regular touch with Deanna, our Homeownership Program Manager, before Deanna passed away in March.
Priscilla credits Deanna’s investment in her and consistent encouragement and support with getting her to where she is today. “Your house is coming, and I want you to be ready because I don’t want you to miss the opportunity,” she says Deanna told her each time she looked over her bank statements and encouraged her to save. At the start of 2020, Deanna told Priscilla this was the year she’d own her home.
And Deanna was right. On November 1, Priscilla and her 18-year-old daughter Immaculate moved into their home in Burch Kove in Chapel Hill, and since Priscilla had saved twice as much as Deanna told her she needed to, the purchase process was stress-free. Soon, Priscilla’s brother will move here from Kenya and join them in their home, too. Their neighborhood is quiet and peaceful, close to her daughter’s school and shopping and everything they need. In fact, after looking at plenty of houses over the years, Priscilla says that the moment she first stepped foot in this home, she knew that this was the one.
“What I love about Community Home Trust is that you don’t discriminate. Everybody is the same whether they have the money or don’t. That’s what makes Community Home Trust reachable because they’re here to help people grow. Everybody is out there ready to help you.”
Now, Priscilla says, she and her daughter tell everyone about Community Home Trust. “It’s an amazing program,” she says. “What I can say about Community Home Trust is that it’s a blessing.”
In order to prioritize your health and the health of all our neighbors, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel our annual Opening Doors event in 2021. But you can still make a donation equal to what you would have spent on your ticket — and when you do, you will help us open doors to homeownership for more people like Priscilla.