Dream Builders

Most would say owning a home is the "American dream." At least 36 families in Leon County are a step closer to that dream.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services presented Dream Builders of Tallahassee with a $421,000 grant Wednesday. The reward will be used to launch the Individual Development Accounts program.

April Jones Howard, a member of Dream Builders, says "They'll have the option of opening up an account with a local banking institution. The amount that they save will be matched on a monthly basis by Dream Builders."

With the match savings account component, the IDA program has a curriculum that promotes financial literacy and economic self-sufficiency.

Don Winstead, the assistant secretary for Human Services, says it's more than welfare reform.

"Work is part of the story. The other part of the story is what happens with the money that you earn and then you save it to build assets for the future."

At the completion of the program, families can use the saved funds to purchase a home, pay for education or start a business.

Don Winstead said, "Really part of the American Dream is home ownership and the Individual Development Account program furthers that American dream, which I think is why they call this organization Dream Builders."

The organization says this is just the beginning, strengthening the community and the economy one family at a time.