Today we’re giving a big Hi-Five to Claudia Limon at Blue Mountain Action Council (BMAC) in Walla Walla, Washington. BMAC and Hayden Homes partnered with us to bring housing affordability to the Walla Walla Valley.  As a result, a hardworking local family will finally achieve their dream of homeownership.  The Husted family will be moving in to their new Hayden Home later this year!

At BMAC, Claudia is the Service Coordinator. She works with each family or individual to identify what their goals are, what steps they need to take to achieve them, and how they can work to maintain stability. Claudia went into social services because of her incredible ability to connect with people. Her goal is for everyone she works with to feel comfortable and realize they have someone on their side who won’t judge them, while still being real about their circumstances and the concrete steps they need to take. Claudia says she’s constantly learning from the people she works with. There’s no “one size fits all” mentality in her line of work, and the more she can understand what people are going through, the better she can serve them.

Claudia (far right) at the surprise announcement she staged for the Husted Family.

This partnership was Claudia’s first time working with First Story, and she said the process helped put things in perspective for her. Claudia often sees people when they’re not at their best, when something like homeownership can seem out of reach. What was super inspiring and encouraging about working with First Story was seeing that people can make their dreams a reality and work to come out from under hardship and achieve their goal. First time homeownership doesn’t have to be impossible, it can happen for everybody.

Claudia’s favorite part of the process, aside from getting to tell the Husted family that they were moving into their brand new home, was talking to all the applicants.

“It was extremely rewarding to see where they started, and where they are now.” Claudia also appreciated that applicants who weren’t quite ready for homeownership were given guidance and help, “hope instead of a hard no,” so that next time the outcome might be different.

And Claudia did leave us with some words of wisdom for those who are working to achieve first time homeownership: “Make sure you get the education and ask questions of the right people.” Claudia acknowledged that there’s a preconceived notion of where you’re supposed to be or how much money you’re supposed to have to own your first home, but not to let that hold you back.

“You don’t know what you don’t know, so you have to ask to understand. And not be afraid to ask. There’s no dumb questions when it comes to your journey to homeownership.” 

Luckily, if you don’t know what people to ask, or where to start, BMAC is a great resource. Visit them online to learn more: bmacww.org