Success Story: Supportive Services Help Single Dad Buy Home


Sal is a single dad from Los Angeles.

He felt after watching the grizzly details on the news every night that LA was just not the place to raise his kids. Even though he was involved in community work and helped at-risk youth stay on the right path, he knew it was time to find a better environment for his own children.

In 2012, a friend offered to let him stay in his home in Des Moines, so he pulled up stakes and came here with his three youngest children. Because the living arrangement was only temporary, the family eventually found themselves staying at the St. Joseph’s Family Shelter. Sal got a job driving buses full-time for the Des Moines school system, and the family quickly moved to their own place. He also signed up for the Section 8 housing voucher program, but discovered the wait list was five years.

During those five years, they lived in a two-bedroom apartment and struggled with a landlord who would not make repairs. When his name finally got to the top of the wait list, he came to an informational meeting about the program and received his housing voucher. At this meeting, HOME, Inc. housing counselor gave a short speech regarding landlord/tenant rights and responsibilities. He knew he had found an agency that would help get needed repairs (basement flooding and mold) made to his apartment. The HOME, Inc. housing counselor assisted him with repair notices and contacting the city inspector to resolve the maintenance problems in the home. Sal also received information about HOME, Inc.’s Homeownership Program at that time.

As time went on, he looked into other home buying programs, but decided HOME, Inc. was the best fit for him. He returned to HOME, Inc. and met with the homeownership coordinator in November 2016. He completed an assessment and together they created an action plan with steps for him to follow and complete to become eligible to buy a home. In August 2017, Sal became a proud homeowner of a new house.

Sal and his children love living here so much he has convinced his adult children to move here as well. He enjoys his family being together in a safer environment to live and work. Sal has continued his love of community work in Des Moines at the local YMCA and as a volunteer at Creative Visions.




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