Fifteen years ago, Vanessa Jackson lived a completely different life.
She had a high school diploma, was a single mom of three kids, made minimum wage, and was renting an apartment with a Section 8 HAP Voucher and poor credit. “What I believed was, I’m not supposed to be a homeowner. That’s how the system works,” Vanessa said.
It turns out, she just needed someone to see something different in her. That someone was staff at NeighborWorks Columbus.
“Once I got my house, I was unstoppable. It felt like nothing was impossible for me. I was empowered,” Vanessa said.
Her journey, which started with a simple desire to improve her credit, led her to earning a degree in Early Childhood Education, working her way up to Director of the Childcare Network and being elected to serve on the Muscogee County School Board.
Vanessa Jackson was one of the first Section 8 residents in Columbus who was able to use her housing voucher as part of her layered financing through a 15-year 2nd mortgage. As of 2019, Ms. Jackson has paid off her 2nd mortgage and no longer requires housing subsidy.
For 20 years, NeighborWorks Columbus has worked to make a difference in lives like Vanessa’s: empowering them through financial education and counseling and helping them settle in a home where they can thrive.