CLEVELAND — Cheri Showers Gipson, a single mother, always had a dream of homeownership with no plan on how to make it happen until she heard about Dollar Bank’s “Mortgages for Mothers” program on the radio.
Dorothy Curtis, Vice President of community development at Dollar Bank, said the program was created due to an observation about Cleveland’s population.
"We realized that there were a lot of head of households that were females. So we decided to do "Mortgages for Mothers"; we talk about credit and we talk bout the home-buying process," said Curtis.
The “Mortgages for Mothers” workshop attracts hundreds of people each year. There, future homeowners can work on credit issues, learn about the benefits of budgeting and about the various mortgage loan programs available.
"You can buy a home, live in a home that's less expensive than what you are paying in rent. So at the workshop, we talk about all of those things and address all those issues so that when they leave out, they're like oh 'my God, I can, I can own my own home.'"
And after a year and a half of working on her credit and saving money, Gipson applied for her home loan.
"I started taking items one by one. Small things add up. Applying for a loan is tedious," Gipson said.
But it all paid off and her dream became a reality.
"I was at work when I got approved, and I think I started screaming in the office," Gipson said.
She looked at hundreds of houses and put a bid on two homes and was rejected, but she remained determined to achieve her dream of home ownership.
"So the last house I looked at, I said well, the third one should be the charm. I looked at the house. Me and my realtor, we both looked at each other and said this is the one."
Gipson was right. Now she calls a charming three-bedroom colonial her home sweet home.
"Exciting, this is my house, I did it! Every day I pull up to my house, this is mine. I did this! (laughs)."
This story is part of A Better Land, an ongoing series that investigates Northeast Ohio's deep-seated systemic problems. Additionally, it puts a spotlight on the community heroes fighting for positive change in Cleveland and throughout the region. If you have an idea for A Better Land story, tell us here.