Success Stories

Home over Time: Michele & Don’s Story

Michele, an elementary schoolteacher, worked with our homeownership team in 2016 for our Below Market Purchase (BMP) program we administer for the city of Santa Clara. We caught up with her in 2018 – two years after she and her husband Don moved in, and they both expressed joy at living in a place where they don’t have to worry about the rent going up or the owner of the property saying they have to move. Regular dinners with her parents, who live in nearby San Jose, was also great draw for the two of them.

Michele and Don at their home in 2018

She also told us, at the time, that she “Hopes to have kids in our house one day.”

Two years after that, we caught up with them again – and got to meet their son, Curtis, just a few weeks shy of his first birthday. Living in Santa Clara means the family is close to Michele’s parents and sister who help watch the baby during the day while Michele teaches. Curtis enjoys a ride in a stroller in the nearby park with his parents – where the family has been able to go for the 4th of July and Christmas tree lighting events and just for fun.   

Michele and Don with their son at home in 2020

Two months later, we checked in with them COVID-19 and the Shelter in Place order that came with it disrupted their lives, and they’re adjusting. Don is fortunate he is able to work from home, and Michele’s class began successfully distance learning three weeks ago.  She still misses being in her classroom and it isn’t always easy to work from home with a 14 month old, but they feel they’re getting a good balance.  “It’s easier to be stuck in your house when you love it so much.”

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week 2020, we asked Michele and some of the other teachers our homeownership programs have helped to name their favorite nonprofits – Michele’s is DonorsChoose which helps fund classrooms across the country – click here to make a donation!