Once Homeless To Homeowner

Unlocking His Door, Unlocking His Future —

      After 30 years of living a homeless life, moving from place to place…Marcos Torres at the age of 46, jingles his keys to his first home last week.(see photo) He came to Trellis 3 years ago and went through the financial literacy course with ongoing guidance from his Trellis Advisor, Brenda Lopez, Director of the Trellis Home Ownership Center. Marcos worked hard to get a job, established credit, rented a room and now 3 years later, he is moving into his home. On an income of $10.50/hr he saved $5000 and he was eligible to participate in the IDEA Match Savings Program, in partnership with NewTown CDC — which matches your savings 3 to 1, qualifying him for $15,000 in down payment assistance. Fox 10 covered this unique client’s story, prompting an immediate overflow of donations and heartfelt community help. Due to the televised feature story, a company called OpenDoor donated and delivered a complete set of furniture for his home within 48 hours of the news.

Marcos is the perfect example of how hard work, faith and persistence pays off. When asking him about how he felt owning a home, one of his first comments was “I have a laundry room! It’s bigger than any of the rooms I’ve rented for years.” At the onset of his journey with Trellis, he had no credit history, and had never owned a credit card. In order to start establishing a credit score, his first expenditure was to tithe to his church, Victory Outreach, which was the place where he first heard a Trellis loan officer speak about our services. His story has inspired many to donate money, grocery gift cards, and even an entire household of furniture. While unlocking the door to his future, his journey has unlocked the hearts of many. There has been a visible increase in interest from first time homeowners and Trellis is so pleased to have played a part in this motivating story.

Trellis, formerly known as Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix, has been creating happy homeowners for 42 years. According to a recent study by Univision, Hispanic home ownership is predicted to grow at triple the rate of non-Hispanics by the year 2021. Trellis hopes to continue to serve these new homeowners. Since our inception, Trellis has educated and/or counseled over 35,489 households and created 3,450 first time homeowners, along with preserving more than 4,800 homes from foreclosure. In the years between 2012-2016 this activity has created an average of almost 90 jobs.

With 58% of Latinos living in households with children under the age of 17 vs. 27% for non-Latino families, and with the purchasing power of the Hispanic market projected to grow 46% faster than non-Hispanic this homeowner expansion and financial education, coupled with over $133M in loan transactions by Trellis Lending has a significant impact on our Maricopa County community.

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