We periodically spotlight a staff member or partner to help our readers get to know our mission and industry a little better.
This week we interviewed Emily Lloyd, New Home Coordinator at the Galilee Community Development Corporation (Galilee CDC), a nonprofit housing organization located in West Texas. Emily is one of the many counselors who has benefitted from our Housing Connection training.
Below is our interview with Emily.
Tell us a little bit about Galilee CDC and its work.
Galilee CDC is a nonprofit organization located in San Angelo, TX. Since 2000, our mission has been to provide and restore affordable housing for low to moderate income residents throughout the Concho Valley.
Tell us about yourself and how you were first introduced to the housing world.
In the spring of 2021, I felt a calling to change careers and go into the mortgage world. I did not know what I wanted to do, or if I could do it, but I also knew I wanted to work at a nonprofit because I have a passion for helping people. As I was looking for a new job, I came across a job posting by Galilee CDC. God knew exactly what I wanted and needed, and here I am. I’ve been working at Galilee CDC since July 2021.
Walk us through a typical day for you at Galilee CDC.
Every day is different. For the most part I do work very closely with our first-time homebuyer clients, mortgage lenders, and the many organizations we have partnerships with. I personally oversee all new home construction build clients, all our rental home residents, and now our new financial literacy program. If I’m not sitting at my desk, working on financial information for our clients, then I am out in the field at our new home sites. On occasion, I visit and teach workshops with our partner organizations and I host free monthly workshops, covering various financial capability topics.
What is your favorite thing about the work you do?
Easing our clients’ minds. I have so many clients who thank me for being so patient with them throughout the homebuying and homebuilding process. Conversations usually start with "this is a dumb question, but…", but it is never a dumb question. I enjoy closing days when I see families who have been waiting for three plus years finally move into their forever home. It also makes my heart happy to see clients overcome their financial obstacles and hardships. Because our waitlist for new homes is years long, I am able to build trusting and lasting relationships with our clients.
You got to know TSAHC through our Housing Connection training for counselors. We appreciate your work as a counselor. Tell us about your experience going through that training and what people attending should expect.
Oh my gosh, I loved the training! Coming out of the COVID era, it was so nice to finally take training in-person instead of virtually. Being able to sit with peers and learn from their experience, pick their brains, hang out after class, and just build those "local" friendships has been amazing. Because San Angelo is in a remote part of Texas, we feel like we are overlooked more often than we probably are. It was so awesome to meet other organizations like ours, but also learn just how unique we are. TSAHC is also such a generous host. Expect to be well cared for while in training. The staff goes above and beyond to make sure all participants are well taken care of.
When you went through Housing Connection, you also received a certification. Tell us about that process and how it benefits the work you do there.
I attended the Housing Connection training specifically to finish the NCHEC (NeighborWorks Center for Homeownership Education and Counseling) Certification in Rental Housing Counseling, which means I am now a certified Rental Housing Counselor. Part of my job is overseeing our transitional housing clients. We have three transitional single-family homes, and we have not had much luck when it comes to our clients transitioning out of these homes successfully. I wanted to enhance my knowledge and skills to better serve our clients.
We are now under contract for a single mom’s home build, moving her from our transitional home into her forever home. It has taken some time, but she has built her income and savings, and now is one of the most solid clients we have seen in such a long time. She has put in all the effort, all the work, but it was the classes I’ve taken and information I’ve learned, that I’ve been able to share and pass along to her, that helped get her here. I am truly grateful for TSAHC for offering the NeighborWorks classes to help us housing counselors obtain and maintain certifications that benefit our communities.
What information or advice has significantly helped your career or organizational goals?
I was fortunate enough to take both classes this past October. I took the second class focusing on affordable housing development because we are considering developing a neighborhood, or revitalizing old buildings in our area to build a homeless shelter, since our town no longer has one. I have big ideas but learning how to implement them was the eye opener I really needed. Yes, the ideas are possible, but I was able to learn the steps to make them a reality. Our organization still has the goal of building or opening a homeless shelter, but it is a very long-term goal.
Which personal or professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
When I started with Galilee CDC, one of my first goals was to rebuild the organization’s financial literacy program. Within my first year here, I became a certified Homeownership Counselor through NeighborWorks. I partnered with our local housing authority and workforce solutions to teach workshops at their location for their clients, and I’ve started monthly financial literacy workshops for anyone in our community. In December 2022, Galilee CDC received a two year grant to continue providing our financial literacy program, free of charge to our community. I now hold three NCHEC certifications, and by the end of April 2023, I will hold two more.
Is there anything that you wish people knew about the work that you do and the impact that Galilee CDC has on its community?
We constantly are told that our programs are too good to be true. They are very good, they are true, and so worth the wait. Our partnerships with the City of San Angelo, USDA, TSAHC, and other lenders have helped us build 93 new construction homes since 2000, plus three more that are under construction right now. We have flipped two homes during some down time, and we are working on building affordable townhomes in Bronte, Texas. Our Transitional Housing program has brought two single moms from being homeless to becoming homeowners. All our employees have hearts of gold, we are invested in our community, and we do everything we possibly can do to help every single person who walks through our door.
On the House blog posts are meant to provide general information on various housing-related issues, research and programs. We are not liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the information provided by blog sources. Furthermore, this blog is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.