|Amy Gregoire with two of her children, Josie (left) and Susie, at her FSS graduation. Amy and her husband recently moved into a new Habitat for Humanity home in West Yarmouth.
When Amy Gregoire first met HAC’s Jan Nelson in 2013, the thought of her ever becoming self-sufficient, let alone a homeowner was far-fetched. “I had a subsidized apartment and felt I was so in over my head, I didn’t think I’d ever have the money to move out of there,” Gregoire said. “Jan calmly said, ‘You can do it. If other people can do it, you can do it.’… I know I wouldn’t be sitting here with three jobs and a new house if it wasn’t for [Jan].”
With two of her three children by her side, Gregoire made the statement at HAC’s offices when the agency recently celebrated her graduation from the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. Managed by Nelson, the program provides a road map for those like Gregoire, who have a Section 8 voucher, to increase their income so they can move off of public assistance.
Over the past five years, Gregoire was able to do just that, working three part-time jobs and enrolling at Bristol Community College where she’s studying to be an occupational therapy assistant.
Her busy schedule got even busier this past year when she and her husband Torey spent their weekends helping to build the Habitat for Humanity home they moved into in May. The Gregoires, which include their three daughters Lucie, Josie and Susie, were one of six families selected for newly built Habitat homes on Virginia Street in West Yarmouth.
As part of the FSS program, Gregoire was able to accumulate almost $3,000 in escrow savings and another $5,000 she received for giving up her Section 8 voucher and becoming a homeowner. A portion of that money went towards closing costs as well as some furniture for their new home.
As she described that new home to HAC staff, there was a sense of joy in her voice. “It is less than a mile from the ocean,” Gregoire said. “It is in a nice little neighborhood… It’s on a quiet cul-de-sac. It couldn’t be more perfect.”