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Success Story: Adam

Adam and his fiancé Stephanie have a dream. They want to own their own home in which to raise their three-year-old child. Before seeking help from Goodwill, they weren’t sure if home ownership was even a possibility. Adam has psychiatric and learning disabilities. A previous HealthWest participant, the 37-year-old receives disability assistance and is currently only able to work part-time. To complicate things, Stephanie also has a disability and is not employed. The family currently lives in an old dilapidated trailer. “We keep pouring money into something that just keeps falling apart,” a frustrated Adam says. With each repair, Adam felt he had no choice but to use a credit card to cover expenses. Consequently, their debt grew, and their dream of owning their own home seemed further away.

Adam went to Habitat for Humanity for help. The organization quickly recognized the need for financial coaching. Habitat referred Adam to Goodwill’s MoneyWorks Financial Services program in July of 2016.

In order to qualify for the Habitat home, Adam needed to assume control of his own finances. (His mother had been acting as his payee.) In addition, they needed to take care of the credit card debt, establish an emergency savings account, and come up with money for a down payment on the home. This can seem overwhelming for a struggling family. Goodwill Supports Specialist Shannon Judson worked closely with the couple on a plan to achieve these objectives.

In addition to debt management and budgeting, Shannon’s financial coaching began with teaching them the fundamental difference between “wants” and “needs.” Adam worked hard to change his habits stating, “I established an emergency fund by taking money from each paycheck, and I stopped going out to eat all the time. I now understand my needs are more important than my wants. I also know that credit cards can be used as a tool, but they can also get out of hand.”

With help from Goodwill, Adam worked hard to pay off his debt and establish a consistent way to fund his emergency account. He became his own payee and began to see his debt go away while his savings grew. He worked hard and by January of 2017, Adam was debt free with an established emergency account AND enough for his $1,000 down payment on a Habitat for Humanity House. They break ground on Adam and Stephanie’s new home this month (June 2017).

Adam and his family are very thankful for Goodwill. “They were very helpful,” he says. Now that the stress of financial uncertainty has been reduced and he has a plan, Adam is very excited about his future. His next dream to tackle – getting off disability and finding full-time work.

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