Despite working fulltime, Shelly came to New Ground with her son and daughter because she could not afford rent and her other basic bills. While in the Long Term Housing Program, she began attending a local college to take courses toward an Associate Degree so she could eventually increase her earning potential.
Although she was required to pay rent like all program participants, it was significantly reduced from what market rent would be on Long Island. She was thus able to put some of her income toward debts on her credit report that severely damaged her credit score and immediately prevented her from having a bank account, as well as ruining her future chances of apartment rental with a landlord.
Shelly paid off all her debt during her first two years in the program and then began building positive credit, opening a bank account and a secure credit card. She was then selected after many years of waiting for a housing choice voucher rental subsidy through Nassau County. She first utilized this voucher in the program for one year to finish her work on repairing her credit and completing additional college courses.
After just three years with us, she had restored her credit to where a landlord would willingly rent her an apartment and saved the funds necessary to move. Shelly was close to completing her Associate Degree when she graduated from New Ground into her own apartment. She planned to complete this the following semester and earn the degree she had worked so tirelessly toward. When reflecting on her time with New Ground, she believed she had been given everything necessary to achieve the future she dreamed of for her family.
“The world’s a lot better of a place because of the people at New Ground. I want to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to better myself, and thank you for thinking of me.”