November/December 2008 issue
Project Home - E.D. of
Making Dreams Come True!
Shut your eyes for a minute
and think back to the day when
you first became a homeowner. Remember the
excitement, the fear, the mountains of
paperwork, and all the questions you had along
the way? Most of us were fortunate enough to
have friends and family to assist us in this
Now imagine that you are a convicted felon.
You have worked hard to find employment and
now have a steady income. You have thought
about purchasing a home, but you have no money
for a down payment and have no money left over
after you pay your rent, bills, and other necessary
expenses. You have convinced yourself that
home-ownership is impossible. Your family
reinforces this belief since no one in your family
has owned a home. Why should you be any
The U.S. Probation Office in the Eastern District
of Missouri has a new mission. That mission is to
show ex-offenders that home-ownership is
possible, and to assist any interested ex-offender
in realizing the dream of home-ownership by
combining state and federal resources with an
education about the process.
In September 2007, Project Home was launched
and we began meeting with ex-offenders. To
date, six ex-offenders have obtained homes!
Two others are under contract and are expected
to close on their homes by the end of January
2009. In addition to these individuals, over 100
others have participated in the home-ownership
education program. Many are currently
establishing or repairing credit with the goal of
home-ownership in the near future.
Each of these new home-owners have a story.
One was living in a hotel for over 18 months.
One was living in a rented basement which had
no heating or cooling system. One was sleeping
on an air mattress in her sisterís basement with
her husband and new baby. One was disabled
and sleeping on his sisterís couch. The stories
are endless, and Project Home is one program
which makes a real difference.
In November 2008, the Library headquarters in
St. Louis provided the backdrop for a video
which was filmed regarding Project Home. This
video, which has gained national attention,
highlighted the success of Project Home, its
community partners, and those ex-offenders
who have benefitted from the program.
If you would like more information about this
program, contact me, Marty Thurman, U.S.
Probation Officer and Project Home Team
Leader, at (314) 244-6727.