SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The program began in 2014 with the goal of helping St. Joseph’s workers overcome barriers to becoming homeowners.
James Williams works in the Joseph’s Hospital dietary department.
“I was determined that I was going to be a homeowner,” says James Williams.
He had always been a renter but says buying a home for his family was a long-time dream.
“He said we won’t be renting forever, he said my promise to you is that I’m going to buy you a home,” says Karen Williams.
One day at work, Williams says he saw a flyer that would change everything, it was for the homeownership down payment assistance program through St. Joseph’s/Candler.
“After seeing that flyer I felt like that flyer was meant for me,” Williams said.
The Williams had been working hard for years to become homeowners.
“We worked on our credit, we worked on the things that we needed to do, I created a binder that says our journey to homeownership, we just put our all in it,” Karen Williams said.
After months of striving toward their goal, the Williams finally reached the finish line.
St. Joseph’s/Candler CEO Paul P. Hinchey says they started this program in 2014 after seeing that many co-workers were not buying homes.
“We were shocked to find out that the wage that was being paid could afford a rental rate but there wasn’t homeownership,” says Hinchey, “the glass ceiling is still the closing cost and the down payment.”
Now, 7 years later, St. Joseph’s/Candler with the City of Savannah, doubled its annual investment in the program.
“As an employer, it’s an investment in them,” Hinchey said.
Hinchey says now more than 50 families are homeowners – among them, the Williams, who bought their dream home just over a year ago.
“My forever home, it’s everything we need, my forever home,” says Williams.
Hinchey says St. Joseph’s would like to see the program expand to include more families in the future.