Where Are They Now? | WAVES Home Ownership & Housing Services Program

Sep 30, 2019

During the 2018 Catalytic Grant Cycle, we awarded a $15,000 grant to Willissae’s Agency for Vision and Empowerment (WAVES) to support its homeownership workshops for individuals residing in Larimer. The training helped participants to set attainable goals, learn valuable financial information, and connect with people who can help them find a home that’s right for their needs. After completing the workshop series, many participants became homeownership eligible and some even became first time homebuyers!

Participants of the homeowership workshops now homeownership eligible!

Willissae’s Agency for Vision and Empowerment‘s primary goal is to build resilency in people, through social and spiritual empowerment, education and employment support, and financial and housing literacy, to help bring about neighborhood change. They aim to provide services that help individuals become self-sufficient and focus their efforts on improving the long-term well-being of individuals who have been affected by violence or other trauma.

Impact by the numbers:

  • 76 Larimer residents received extensive homeownership training
  • 27 participants became homeownership eligible as a result of this course
  • 77% of participants opened savings accounts and began the process for increasing wealth
  • 86% of participants improved their credit scores
  • 12 participants became first time homebuyers 
  • $23,000 in additional funding leveraged 

Participants at one session of the 6-week homeownership training course.

Participants in the 6-week homeownership training course were also offered weekly case management sessions and individual case management services during WAVES’ standard nine month programming session. The session encompasses topics such as coping with trauma and stress, learning positive social conduct, professional development and job search skill building, vocational and technical educational opportunities, budgeting and saving, credit building, and so much more. This unique model takes into account an individual’s wholistic quality of life and offers more complete services to help pave the path for true self-sufficiency.

Not only did the homeownership training course improve Quality of Life for several residents in Larimer, it surpassed its anticipated results. Doubling the number of expected participants, 76 Larimer residents completed the 6-week long course! Out of the 76 workshop participants, 37 actively continued to participate in WAVES programming.

This project addressed Neighborhood Allies’ Quality of Life pillar of our Healthy Neighborhoods Framework by providing individuals with valuable financial information, helping them to set attainable financial and homeownership goals, and supporting participants’ overall wellbeing through additional program offerings.

Top Header Image Photo Credit: Prototyping Larimer Stories by artist John Peña, photo by OPA