Inspiring and Inspired

February 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Born in Uganda, Jackie moved here with her family at the very young age of 2 years. At that time her aunt – who was attending college – sponsored the large, extended family but with few resources available the family found themselves taking home mattresses from the side of the road and using their “bare hands to vacuum the floors.” Fortunately education was always a major component of Jackie’s life and so upon graduating high school, Jackie moved to California to attend the University of San Diego. It wasn’t long, however, until Jackie moved back to Minneapolis to finish her degree in Ethnic Studies at Metro State. While completing her schooling, Jackie rented an apartment in the Midtown Exchange building, and it was there she first learned about homeownership opportunities available through the CLCLT. “I was referred to the CLCLT by a [CLCLT] homeowner that lived in the Midtown Exchange building.”

In 2009, after a year of building her credit score (she didn’t have a credit card at the time) and working with an organization that offered a monetary match to deposits made to a savings account to assist with downpayment and closing costs, Jackie found herself purchasing a charming, 1 ½ story home in North Minneapolis. “I always knew I wanted to live in Minneapolis. I love Minneapolis.” Jackie’s home is close to downtown and many restaurants, and with two young children the fact that it is close to several parks makes the location that much more ideal.

Homeownership has had its challenges. Three years ago, on the afternoon immediately following the birth of her second child, Jackie’s home was damaged by a tornado. Jackie remembers vividly the phone call from her partner, Eddie, relaying the news. “Well, I hope you have insurance…a tornado hit your house!” The damage was enough to relocate the family to a hotel for a couple of months but those expenses were all covered by insurance (“I’m glad insurance is mandatory.”) and three years later you would not know that the home had suffered any damage.

Becoming a CLCLT homeowner is providing Jackie with another opportunity, that of being a National Community Land Trust Ambassador. After being nominated by a CLCLT staff member, Jackie was selected by the National Network staff to participate in the year-long program that will include a trip to Washington, D.C. where Jackie – and other National Ambassadors – will meet with policymakers to discuss affordable housing. When asked how she feels about adding to her already-full plate, Jackie calmly replies “I’m excited and very honored. It is a reaffirmation of how good the CLCLT is. I’ve worked with a lot of nonprofits and the work that the CLCLT does is unmatched.”

Along with her new role as a CLT Ambassador Jackie also looks forward to continuing her work in community building at the local level with her focus on parent stabilization. Jackie is quick to acknowledge the many youth endeavors that are in operation already, however, she said “I like to put my attention towards stabilizing parents because then the parents can guide the kids.” Jackie also looks forward to attending future CLCLT-sponsored events for her chance to meet other CLCLT homeowners. “I feel like I learn from them. The other CLCLT homeowners inspire me.” Jackie is also interested in assisting other CLCLT homeowners in their community engagement activities.

With so much happening Jackie’s plans for the future are not definite but she’s philosophical about what’s to come. “I’m thinking this [National Network Ambassador] experience will rejuvenate me. I feel like my agenda will come to me and my goal is to listen for it and then act upon it.”

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