Success Stories

"A Journey Forward" - Sept-Oct Newsletter

Growing up in Knoxville, the early part of Ti's life was fairly quiet. She and her mother lived with her grandmother who always made sure that they attended church. However, around the age of 12, things took a turn for the worse. Her mother remarried, and her stepfather began molesting her. "I was surrounded by drugs, violence, gamblers, and prostitutes," Ti states. "It was really all I knew."

Like many others, Ti became a product of her environment growing up. She had two stints behind bars on drug charges. In an effort to turn her life around, Ti went through a short term drug rehab program that lasted 29 days. The program wasn't long enough for her and lacked an important piece, support transitioning back into society. Ti relapsed, and acquired a third drug charge.

In 2009, Ti came to Nashville to enter Thistle Farms recovery program for women called Magdalene. Magdalene specializes in serving women who have survived lives of prostitution, trafficking, addiction, and life on the streets. Ti still had to return to court to face her last drug charge. She received a three year sentence.

However, this time her incarceration time was different: "The first two times I was in prison, I had no one to write to me, no one visited me, and I had no place to go when I got out. But this time, people from Magdalene came to visit me regularly, sent me packages and letters, and I knew I had a place to go when I got out." Not surprisingly, this made all the difference for Ti. While in prison she took advantage of every opportunity she could to better herself, taking classes and earning her GED. She returned to Magdalene's residential recovery program following completion of her sentence.

New Level CDC entered Ti's life through a partnership between it and the Magdalene program that links housing with supportive services while women adapt to living on their own. New Level CDC provides affordable rental housing while Magdalene provides a strong support system. "I love New Level," says Ti. "The house is clean and safe, the rent is affordable, and this is the first time in over eight years that I have a place to call my own."

Ti recently graduated from the Magdalene program, works full-time for Thistle Farms as an associate-manager and travels around the country with Thistle Farms telling her story. To help her stay on sound financial footing she is working with New Level CDC's financial coaching program to help fulfill her dreams---something she now believes is possible.

"Donita and Flip"

With our coaching they systematically paid off their debt and dramatically raised their credit score. They are now proud new homeowners with a front porch they can enjoy for many years to come.

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"I Love it Here" - June Newsletter

What a difference a safe, fit, affordable home has made in William's life. He's heathier, he's thriving just like the tomatoes he's growing in our garden.

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"Taking Her Life Back" - July Newsletter

While moving forward with her life, Sharon has a strong desire to give back and help others who have faced challenges like hers. She's taken her life back, is giving back and has a promising future ahead.

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"A Journey Forward" - Sept-Oct Newsletter

To help Ti stay on sound financial footing she is working with New Level CDC's financial coaching program to help fulfill her dreams---something she now believes is possible.

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Working to Climb the Ladder

Change takes time but those we serve are succeeding. They are using budgets, reducing their debt, increasing their savings, buying homes, going back to school and starting businesses. They are climbing up the economic ladder.

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Connections …..Families, a home and student success

We connected Bobbi with job opportunities and she used our matching debt pay down fund to pay off an old utility bill. Her previous landlord is willing to rent to her again and Bobbi's sons have been receiving extra care and support at school.

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"Building Credit and Confidence"

Knowledge and understanding build confidence. Karen our financial education and housing specialist taught Monica how to understand her credit report, her student loan information and coached her on how to talk to creditors.

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"Recession to Recovery"

Joann was able to get control of and consolidate her debts, stabilize her credit, and receive a quality home loan. In July of 2015, Joann was thrilled to be able to close on a new home for her and her family.

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Carey's 47 year Journey Home

With the stability that Sophia's Heart offered for 2 years, Carey and Constance had battled back from PTSD and 25 years of drug use to living healthy, whole lives. They were ready to restart their journey home.

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Newlyweds and Home buying done Right

Manny and Valeria closed on their home in May and "tied the knot" with a June wedding. We celebrate with them as they start their life together on a firm financial foundation.

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Debt—Climbing out and moving Up

Duana is now climbing her ladder and with our matching savings program should realize her dream for her family very soon, a safe and secure place they can call proudly call home. She's moving UP!

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Believing then Achieving Dreams

The confidence Janice gained from reaching her savings goal combined our financial education helped her believe in herself allowing the very thought of new dreams.

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I'm telling everyone I know to take this class "BEFORE" you even start looking at homes. It's one of the best investments you can make.

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Out of the cold and into the Dry

As the season changes New Level CDC celebrates as 8 more warm, dry, safe and affordable homes are ready for those working hard to keep moving forward in life.

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