Girls; Live, Love, Laugh, Inc., (GLLL) a nonprofit organization focusing on girls living with limited resources in Newark and other neighboring communities, hosted a workshop on homeownership and financial literacy last week. Twelve teenage girls participated in an information session with a real estate agent, followed by a home walk-through and visit to a bank.
The homeownership workshop is part of a series of events by GLLL titled “Royal InvestHER$ Club for Girls,” providing disadvantaged teen girls with the opportunity to learn about financial literacy – including budgeting, banking and saving – in addition to real estate and homeownership. The series is led by GLLL founder and owner Allison James-Frison, a Newark-native and survivor of homelessness who created the program to give young girls access to resources and information that can help them prosper.
“I wanted to start this program for young girls because it’s something that wasn’t offered to me when I was young,” says James-Frison. “I purchased my first home at 50 years old. However, if there was a program like this, I could have perhaps purchased a home earlier.”
Out of the twelve students who attended the workshop, only three belong to families who own their own home – a representation of most families in Newark based on theU.S. Census Bureau, which notes Newark’s owner-occupied housing unit rate is 22.3%.
James-Frison added: “I’m very excited that the girls had the opportunity to experience this first-hand. It’s very important that we teach young girls – many who come from single parent households – the importance of real estate, saving money and building generational wealth.”
To experience the process of viewing a home on the market, the girls visited a newly renovated four-bedroom residence in Newark, N.J. During the tour, realtor Lynda Lloyd of Close With Lynda, provided important tips to keep in mind when purchasing a home, including evaluating location and price, and understanding the benefits and costs of owning a home compared to renting.
Lloyd, a Newark native, works as a full-time realtor and owns the consulting firm Lloyd Strategies. She is the author of Sis, I Got You! A Single Mother’s Guide to Home Ownership Despite Poor Credit, Low Savings, or Life Challenges. As a homeowner herself, Lloyd has experienced the benefits of home-owning and decided to work with GLLL to help young girls make wise economic decisions and build generational wealth.
“These young ladies are 13, 14 and 15 years old – a great age to start learning about the process of homeownership,” says Lloyd. “I’m talking about creating wealth through homeownership and buying multifamily properties, and giving them examples about the cost of renting versus owning, so the numbers can become an incentive for them to say when they’re older, ‘I remember when I was in the homeownership workshop, and I think I want to go ahead and buy a house versus getting an apartment so that I can start creating wealth.’”
Following the two-day homeownership series, the teens visited M&T Bank in Newark on Financial Awareness Day, August 14. During the event, the girls opened their first savings accounts.
“The young girls can start working towards their homeownership goals now,” continues Lloyd. “By opening a savings account, they can commit to putting their money in the bank to save towards their new home in the future. The sooner they start, the better they will be financially.”
In addition to the workshops, GLLL will be hosting a school uniform shopping excursion on Aug. 18 at 7:00 p.m. EST, if weather permits. The event will provide 100 Newark-based single parents with vouchers for one free school uniform. The event, which is in partnership with the Victoria Foundation, United Healthcare Community Plan of New Jersey, and Assemblywoman Shanique Speight, is for girls in grades pre-K through seventh and will be taking place at the Kids Place at 311 Ferry Street in Newark, N.J. All attendees must pre-register online, provide proof of address and wear a mask while shopping. To register for the event, click here.