Investing in and supporting our local communities is so important, and increasingly so during the COVID-19 era that we have found ourselves in.
Myself and my employer, Union Home Mortgage have been grateful to be able to support Homestretch, prior to and during these difficult times.
Years ago, we were drawn to support Homestretch because it doesn’t just offer short-term support for its clients – Homestretch equips its clients with the tools they need to achieve long-term self-sufficiency. Homestretch supports financial literacy and career building, and helps its clients rebuild their lives and succeed.
At Homestretch, 100 percent of its clients are homeless parents with children, impoverished, and typically coming from shelters. The average age of a Homestretch client is eight, and 90 percent of clients are single mothers.
Looking at the numbers alone, the odds are stacked against them.
But thanks to Homestretch’s all-encompassing approach, 90 percent of families who graduate from the program have permanent housing they can afford, and 95 percent of those are still housed and employed years later.
In 2019 alone, 67 percent of Homestretch clients had savings upon graduation, at an average of $11,063 per family, and significantly reduced their debt – a testament to the effect of Homestretch’s impactful approach.
Union Home Mortgage is Ohio-based and through our Foundation has provided grant funding to Homestretch for years (even giving additional support to provide relief from the effects of COVID this year), but we’ve also stepped up to help where we can locally with our time, energy, and additional resources.
Our local Fairfax Union Home Mortgage Branch has helped meet the needs of Homestretch for years. Thankfully, when Homestretch called out with an increased need for school supplies due to COVID-19, we were able to answer.
We adopted all 14 of the Homestretch kids currently in the program and completed a backpack drive to ensure they had all the school resources they might need. All the kids are unique, so we were able to tailor the backpacks to their individual school grade requirements and include a personal note of encouragement.
It may seem small, but we know we’re having a large impact because of the effectiveness of Homestretch and look forward to continued partnership for years to come.
Big or small, through time or treasure, your support for Homestretch makes a difference and I encourage others to step up in any way they can as we combat the effects of COVID-19 together.
By Nicholas A. Lichwick, Mid-Atlantic Retail Manager, Union Home Mortgage