Tina Crowder wipes the tears from her eyes as she realizes her hard work has paid off.
“There were sometimes things weren’t going right, but I just kept in mind that I have something to look forward to,” said Crowder.
In July, Tina became a graduate of the Family Self-Sufficiency program at the City of Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
The FSS program is a five-year employment and saving program. Participants are connected with resources and opportunities designed to assist them on their path toward self-sufficiency and economic independence. A portion of any rent increase is placed into escrow savings account monthly and will be disbursed to the participant upon program graduation.
In 2013, Tina was a resident at Villages at Lincoln. She credits the site manager and other individuals at the time for encouraging her to enroll in the program.
“I had a whole team of people, trying to guide me in the right way,” said Crowder
Tina left public housing and qualified for the Housing Choice Voucher program (formerly known as Section 8). She continued to do the hard work to make a better life for herself and her family.
“Meeting my goals, fixing my credit. Everything I had to do,” said Crowder.
With a college degree in business, Tina set her goal to open a boutique.
“I have always loved fashion. I have always loved to dress people and see people happy when they look nice in their clothes,” said Crowder.
Tina made sure she checked in with her FSS worker as she reached closer to that dream.
“That’s what got me excited. To see the results of what I was doing. That kept me motivated every single day and month,” she said.
Tina will use her escrow money as a down payment to buy the house she is currently renting.
“If I didn’t have a plan, I wouldn’t know what to do with the money,” said Crowder.
Tina is hoping her story inspires others to strive for greatness.
“Wanting it is not enough. You can want everything, you can hope for it but you have to go for it to make it happen for yourself. Because no one is going to make it happen for you. And just believe in yourself,” said Crowder.
This program is open to families living in public housing and Housing Choice Voucher recipients.
Learn more about the FSS program here.