By: Katie Wiedemann
August 30, 2010
One Dubuque family is living in their own home tonight because of a new program here in Iowa.
The Iowa Credit Union Foundation created a program to help low-income families pull themselves out of poverty. Last year an anonymous donor started the program. Now private donations continue to grow the fund.
Money has always been tight for Adam Shephard. Now for the first time in his life he and his daughter, Sarah, have a place to call their own.
"Obviously my net worth has increased. I'm not a renter. I am an owner," said Shephard.
The single dad works several jobs to make ends meet. So saving money was a challenge.
"There were some sacrifices. There were no meals out. I had to carry around light lunches."
Shephard opened an Individual Development account through Dupaco Community Credit Union. For every dollar he saved, the Iowa Credit Union Foundation added two dollars to his account.
Within months he'd saved enough to make the down-payment.
"It's great information to have if you are trying to save some money or just organize your life."
To qualify for the program, a single person has to make less than $22,000 per year. Participants are required to save at least $25 each month
Shephard says because he learned how to save; he's now a better example for his daughter.
"Sarah has much more space to run around and play. We've been playing hide and seek."
Shephard says the program is helping him break the cycle of poverty. He finally has his own home and a reason to be proud.
Anyone interested in the Iowa Credit Union Foundation program should contact any participating credit union to learn about eligibility.