Pearl's Story: Overcoming poverty and realizing her dream

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Pearl's Story

For years, Pearl McCracken struggled with poverty. Losing hope. The dream of owning her own home seemed impossible, until a financial empowerment program funded by United Way gave her the opportunity to realize her dream.
Pearl was born and raised in Anderson. By the time she reached her late 40’s, she had never realized her hope of owning her own home. It was a dream she had but she didn’t know how she and her husband could afford it. They considered buying a home they were renting, even though it had major issues because she wanted so badly to own her own home. Before she bought the home, a few of her friends and family members told her about a United Way-funded program at an agency called PathStone that they thought could help.
Pearl was introduced to PathStone’s program and began taking free workshops on budgeting, financing and getting her credit rating in good standing. PathStone helped Pearl learn about personal financial matters and taught her about financial literacy and how to implement it in her own life. They also provided financial assistance by helping her start an Individual Development Account (IDA) in their program that matched Pearl’s savings efforts. IDA accounts help eligible individuals and families become successful homeowners by providing up to $7,500.00  (in Madison County) in matched savings to help individuals purchase a home, start a small business, go back to school or complete a job training program.Pearl worked hard at saving for a number of years. Her efforts were matched 3:1 by PathStone’s IDA program and in the end she was able to realize her dream of purchasing a new home of her own.
“I no longer have a poverty mindset. I have a very beautiful home that I never knew I would have. You can have something you can call your own. Thank you for the chance to learn about something that changed my whole life,” shared Pearl.
Pearl wants others to know that if you are willing to put in the effort to learn about financing and get and keep good credit, you can have something you can call your own. She never knew she would have a house built from the ground up but now she does.