Building Blocks for Your Future
Recently, the Farmville Area Habitat for Humanity and STEPS, Inc. joined together to provide the Building Blocks for Your Future series of learning opportunities. These eight classes covered a range of topics centered around personal financial education. While the information gained would be valuable for individuals pursuing a variety of goals, the focus was building toward the dream of homeownership. As part of the partnership agreement individuals and families enter into with Habitat, they are equipped with a series of homebuyer education courses. Beyond simply building homes, Habitat also seeks to build community. As such, they desired to open these classes beyond those in the Habitat program. With the goal of community outreach, Habitat reached out to STEPS and an effective partnership was formed. STEPS offered valuable resources in the planning and implementation of the sessions and in their ability to advertise the classes within their large network of services. They also provided the setting as the classes were held at the STEPS Center in Farmville. Continuing with the theme of community partnership, presenters came from a variety of local businesses and organizations. Following is a list of the classes that were offered and the presenter of each: personal budgeting- Rhonda Arnold of Citizens Bank and Trust, credit reports- Cheryl Gee of Benchmark Community Bank, housing laws- private attorney Tessie Bacon, types of loans- Kim Helms of Benchmark Community Bank, personal insurance- Edgar Jones of State Farm, home maintenance- Charlotte Green of Green Properties, being a good neighbor- Officer Chris Hudson from the Farmville Police Department, financial pitfalls and predatory lending- Jayne Johnson of Farmville Habitat. According to Sam Rabon of Farmville Habitat, “All those who attended were enthusiastic and eager to learn.” Participants who came to every class were awarded a Certificate of Completion of the Homeownership Education Program from the Virginia Housing Development Authority, which is required by certain lenders.