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Asset Builders Program Helps Women Build Their Dreams

When Earnestine Banks was in elementary school, her school bus would travel down Willis Drive. Every day, Earnestine sat on the right side of the bus so she could look at a specific house that she dreamed of one day owning.

“It was such a pretty house compared to where I was living,” says Earnestine. “It was in a nice part of town and the yard always looked really nice. I dreamed about living in that house.”

Years later, Earnestine bought her dream home. The only problem was that she needed more room since her 6 and 8 year-old grandsons live with her. But the bigger dilemma was that adding on to her house was going to cost money she didn’t have.

So Earnestine joined the Good Faith Fund’s (GFF) Asset Builders program through the Boys, Girls, Adults Community Development Center (BGACDC) in Marvell, Arkansas, and began saving money to add a master bedroom and bathroom to her dream home. After 16 months of saving, Earnestine reached her goal and can’t wait until her new addition is finished.

“Through our Individual Development Accounts and SEED accounts, we are using new and innovative approaches to helping low-income families move into the middle class by not just focusing on earning income but also on the long-term benefits of building assets,” said Angela Duran, executive director of the Good Faith Fund.

Since 1999, 526 individuals have participated in Asset Builders. Of those, 85 percent are women, 87 percent are African American, and 42 percent have a household income under $12,000 annually. To learn more about GFF’s impact in the region, read their annual report at www.goodfaithfund.org.

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