With the knowledge she gained from NeighborWorks Orange County, Monique Ruelas put a roof over her head. Then another. And then another. “I would never be where I’m at if it wasn’t for that day when I went to that first NeighborWorks class,” she said. “ Monique came to NeighborWorks around 2002. At the time, she was a renter and single mom with two daughters. The path she followed transformed her from a renter to a homeowner, setting the stage for other family members to acquire their own houses.
Melanie Reyes tells her story through laughter and tears, her story of being the homeless single mother of three young boys to becoming a homeowner who can now provide her family with new opportunities. “Miracles happen,” she said in her Anaheim condominium. “Hope is real. This is a miracle. That’s my soul cry." NeighborWorks Orange County, which taught her the ins and outs of homeownership and created for her an affordable loan package, was the key to making her family’s miracle happen, she said.
Making the jump from full-time renter to homeowner is no small feat, particularly in a housing market like California’s. Sometimes, scraping by with enough to make monthly payments seems like a modern miracle. Then you add the myth that you have to have 20% down to enter the market and many potential buyers feel that homeownership falls just outside their reach.