NeighborWorks still going strong with counseling classes despite -, GA News Weather & Sports

NeighborWorks still going strong with counseling classes despite cutbacks


Columbus native and homeowner Wanda Y. Jenkins is living proof that NeighborWorks Columbus has the blueprint for not only assisting people with achieving the American dream, but also maintaining it.

"The most important thing I received help with was budgeting and having a spending plan and this is one practice that I'm still using today," stated Jenkins.

The lessons learned were all obtained during a free home ownership class Jenkins took at NeighborWorks in downtown Columbus on 11th Avenue. Eight years later, she is still living in that home today.

"There has been situations that have come up, but I have learned from people here at NeighborWorks how to prevent foreclosure," Jenkins said. "How to have a open line of communication with my mortgager."

Jenkins gained a wealth of knowledge in the counseling classes she attended at Neighborworks on budgeting, credit counseling and saving money. She told News Leader 9's Roslyn Giles it took 18 months to clean up her credit and get the keys to her new home.

"I felt like me being a homeowner was a legacy I could leave to my children," Jenkins said.

NeighborWorks director Cathy Williams said success stories like Jenkins run deep within their organization.

"Among the 1,000 who have participated in the program, only 5 that went through counseling have gone through foreclosure," Williams said. 

Williams added that was just in the last 10 years and even though the money has dwindled from $40,000 to now $17,000 in counseling dollars from HUD, NeighborWorks is still counseling potential homeowners are helping others avoid foreclosure just like Jenkins did.

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