We love helping families own their very first home. We also love watching these families build wealth and have an opportunity to give another family a hand-up to homeownership. We call it our Fresh Start Program. A program that allows First Story to buy a home back at fair market value and then sell it through our affordable home loan program. A Fresh Start for a New Start is our own internal ‘pay-it-forward’ and we are beyond thrilled to have Fresh Start homes this year!

This month we proudly sold two homes in our Fresh Start program. The baton was passed from two families who we watched grow and thrive to two deserving families just starting out. While each family’s story is unique, with personal struggles and challenges, their futures are now connected and brighter than ever.

Our first Fresh Start of the year was sold to Paul, Courtney and their three kids. The family moved in to an accessible home which will help their daughter Frankie live a more comfortable life. Frankie suffers from Rett Syndrome, a debilitating genetic disorder that steals away nearly every normal body response - including walking and talking. Before this home, the family rented a very small home with little space for all of Frankie’s medical equipment, let alone room to try and be a normal 11-year-old girl. The family’s new home was originally built for the Andrews family and their son, Abel, who has cerebral palsy. Late last year, Abel was accepted into a school that will provide extraordinary opportunities for him - a place that meets his needs perfectly. Upon learning that they would be moving, the Andrews immediately connected us with Paul & Courtney as they knew this home would be a life changer for Frankie. “First Story gave our family the incredible opportunity to be homeowners; a dream we had almost given up on until now.”

The keys to our next Fresh Start home, were given to Rheanna and her daughter Isabella. Like the homeowner who came before her, Rheanna is a hardworking, dedicated single mom who is breaking the cycle of poverty by becoming the first person in her family to own a home. Rheanna is most looking forward to giving her daughter the gift of belonging. With teary eyes she shared, “When she goes off to college, she will always know where she can come home to. A house where we have memories that belong to her.”

Our Fresh Start homes remind us of why First Story exists. They bring us comfort in the futures they provide and hope for new beginnings. And while we will miss our families that have moved on, we are excited to be a part of the new stories that these families will write. Our Fresh Starts for A New Start stories sure do make us #HomeProud.