Ask Crystal Bumpas what she’s most proud of and she’ll tell you straight out it’s overcoming the trauma of growing up in an abusive home–trauma that led to her own struggles with substance abuse.

But today, while she was a once a client of community-resource provider People for People, she now serves as the organization’s Career Development Manager and empowers people facing the same challenges that she once did to change their lives for the better.

“I was always going through life looking for security, safety, and comfort,” said Crystal. “But I was looking in the wrong places. And in my teenage years, I just really didn’t make good decisions.”

In 2016, all that changed.

Crystal was a single mother of three when she made the courageous decision to enter a six-month, in-patient treatment center. When she graduated from treatment, she and her kids went into transitional housing where they shared kitchens, bathrooms, and refrigerators with other residents.

“We just had bedrooms,” said Crystal. “Similar to a nursing home.”

But from there with each post-treatment step in the right direction, Crystal’s housing situation improved. From transitional housing, Crystal moved her family into a one-bedroom apartment and eventually into a three-bedroom apartment. In early 2022, she clicked on a pop-up ad about First Story, submitted an application, got approved, and was selected!

Now her family is scheduled to move into their brand new home in September.

“It appeared too good to be true,” Crystal said, referring to First Story’s affordable loan program. “But I just went for it.”

Becoming a homeowner is not something she thought she could accomplish, especially after housing prices spiked during the pandemic, making this home even more of a gift.

“My kids are going to be raised in a forever home, in a safe community, and it would not have been possible without First Story,” she said.

We couldn’t be happier to be a part of Crystal’s journey to create the security, safety, and comfort for her kids that she once longed for and can now provide.