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“A Night of Empowerment” Recognizes Families for Achieving Their Goals of Homeownership and Much More……


Greenville, SC – On Tuesday, April 10, 2018, TGHA held its 4th Annual Night of Empowerment to recognize families for achieving their individual goals. The Greenville Housing Authority congratulates Latorsha White and Mr. & Mrs. Marcos Ramos for graduating from the Family Self-Sufficiency Program and becoming a first time homebuyer.

Congratulations Latorsha White

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“My journey began in December 2003. I was tired and at a point in my life where I wanted more, so it was time for me to do more. I was a single parent raising three (3) children and working at a minimum wage job as a Phlebotomist. I stepped out on FAITH into an unfamiliar and I left the small town of Abbeville, and moved to Westview Homes in the big City of Greenville. This was a big change for me. I had no family here and no friends. I know the opportunities for my children were unlimited in Greenville.

For the next 16 years I worked part-time jobs and focused on raising my children. That nagging feeling of wanting more hit me again. In March 2015, I joined the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program. Ms Newkirk helped me to build a team and collectively they helped me achieve my dreams. USDA approved me for a home loan in March of 2017. I became a First Time Home Buyer on June 30, 2017. If you have a goal and you want more….. Team Work makes the Dream Work,” said Latorsha White.

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Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Marcos Ramos

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“My wife and I have been on Section 8 for more than 9 years. We had been dreaming about owning our own home for years. When the Housing Authority first released information that they were going to start a homeownership program we jumped at the opportunity. We made an appointment with a FSS Case Manager, and got our names on the waiting list. We did everything that they required and in October of 2017, we became homeowners,” said Marcos Ramos.

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 Congratulations Keondra Greene

“Before the FSS Program, I was lost and I didn’t realize it. I wasn’t thinking about credit, saving money, short term or long term goals. I was just trying to survive the best way I knew how. I just knew I was independent. My Case Manager helped me to understand that self-sufficiency was the real key to independence. The FSS Program is helping me get in a position to not have to ask anyone for their help with my basic needs. I am no longer living day to day. I am living for my kids and providing a better life for them and me. I am looking forward to Homeownership and my own food truck one day. I will always remember that self-sufficiency is key” said Keondra Greene.

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Congratulations Jamie Shell

“I believe it’s not what you been through that makes you, but how you handle things. It is like sandpaper and wood, smooth out outcome from a rough rubbing. When I joined FSS, I was going through a lot and my son was trying to get through high school graduation. He got through graduation and he even received a scholarship from the Housing Authority. Then life happened, I was pregnant, and lost my job. Through all life’s challenges I didn’t give up. I stayed focused and pursued my FSS goals.  I now have a permanent job, my children are healthy and I am working on my final goals”, said Jamie Shell.

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Congratulations Dortavia Bland

“The reason I joined the FSS Program was to better myself and to obtain valuable information, so that one day I could buy a home. When I joined the program my Case Manager helped me set some goals and one was to get my GED. They showed me how to write down my goals and make a plan to achieve them. I did this and I got my GED in January of 2018. I am on “Zero Housing Assistance” and on May 1, 2018 my son and I will become totally self-sufficient,” said Dortavia Bland.

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Congratulations Iesha Vernon

“I was introduced to the FSS Program about 3 years ago. I joined because I like what it stood for, setting goals and achieving them. I wanted to become more independent and to reduce the amount of subsidy my family receives. I have an Associate Degree in Medial Assistant from Brown Mackie College. In 2016 I graduated from Greenville Tech with a certificate in Medical Physician Practice Clerk. Currently, I am employed at Quality Care in Home Care as a Staffing Manager,” said Iesha Vernon.


Congratulations Lorretta Jones

"My journey began with no knowledge or direction. I was not sure of how I was going to succeed in achieving my dreams. I am a single mother with three (3) children. When I became a section 8 participant I was introduced to the FSS Program. When I  joined the FSS program, I was assigned a Case Manager. She helped  me build a team to achieve my goals. She  listened and encouraged  me when I thought I could not succeed. With her help I became more confident and my self-esteem, grew. I wanted to achieve more than the usual. My successes has motivated my daughter to set goals that will help her achieve her dreams," said Lorita Jones.


Thank you Dumah Design for the Paint Session

Dumah Morgan, a freelance artist based out of Greenville, SC and owner of Dumah Design’s facilitated a paint class for approximately 40 Self-Sufficiency Program participates, graduates and honorees. Participants painted pictures of trees with an inspirational message. The tree’s symbolized strong foundations for achieving goals. The tree limbs represented the different routes taken towards goal achievement and the lights represented each person’s accomplishments and or things they identified as fruits of labor.

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What is the Annual Night of Empowerment?

In our quest for an innovative and unique way to recognize FSS participants and achievers, and to publicly honor FSS graduates, in February 2014, the Resident Services Department of the Greenville Housing Authority launched its first annual Family Self-Sufficiency Night of Empowerment. The fun-filled, inspirational evening begins with a warm welcome, a time of fellowship, and presentation of door prizes, followed by a buffet-style dinner. During the meal, the diners are treated to a motivational presentation by a local leader from the community, and a “Dress for Success” fashion show. Finally, the evening culminates with the presentation of awards.

For more information about the Family Self-Sufficiency Program please visit



Annual Night of Empowerment Sponsored by Community Works Carolina

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