Success Stories

Empowered by Home: Helen, Andrew, and Nancy Find Hope in a New Home

Helen and her parents Andrew and Nancy immigrated from Vietnam just a few years ago with the hope of a better life and opportunity in the United States. They dreamed of owning a home, but between switching jobs and moving often to different apartments, they imagined it might take another decade. The Empower Homebuyers SCC program fulfilled their hopes and changed their lives by enabling them to purchase their dream home with the help of the downpayment assistance program.

Helen, Andrew, and Nancy first learned about the program through social media and believed it would make a difference toward their goal of purchasing a home. The family of three had been working hard to save together, despite the challenges that the pandemic posed in finding stable work. Helen found work in the medical field and Andrew worked in machinery. Nancy worked part-time as a retail associate and found her hours reduced, affecting their savings and income for a few months.

They never lost hope. After submitting the application, they met Housing Trust staff member Elisa and began the process. When they received the eligibility determination letter, Helen, Andrew, and Nancy shopped around and found their dream home in San José within two weeks. Prospective buyers were bidding for a higher price, but Helen and her family were only able to bid for a certain amount. With the help of their real estate agent, they were able to provide a letter to secure the house for a lower price.

Helen advises interested applicants to ask questions and communicate with loan officers and team members at the Housing Trust to stay on track and know what to do.

“My family was extremely fortunate to have the Empower team walk us through this program, and guide us step-by-step to the finishing line,” shares Helen. “Our family’s file encountered a lot of difficulties along the way, but with their enormous understanding and patience, we were able to become homeowners, which we had never dared to think about. I want to send my thankfulness to Housing Trust Silicon Valley for providing us with the Empower program to help first-time homebuyers like us.”

“From the bottom of my heart, I would like to express my fullest appreciation towards Hong, Elisa, and the Empower team for their unconditional support to my family throughout this journey in the past few months,” says Helen. “I cannot explain in words how thankful I am right now, all I can say is without the Empower team, my family will not be able to achieve the ‘American dream.’”

Helen, Andrew, and Nancy are excited to have a home of their own, with two bedrooms and a guest room. Their favorite part of their home is the location, just a block away from their former apartment. They enjoy being close to neighboring shopping areas in San José, with the convenience of saving time on transportation.

With perseverance and planning, it is possible to make the dream of homeownership come true. Learn more about the Empower Homebuyers SCC program at or register today to attend a free information session.