Program Helps Disabled Overcome Home Ownership Challenges

Washing dishes, mowing the lawn and other household chores became more difficult for Harvey Crosby 20 years ago. A hit and run driver left him for dead and unable to walk without losing his balance. Crosby thought his dream of owning his own home had died in the accident.

"I wanted my own home. Something I can put some work into, and it will be a place to call home."

Crosby's house warming party was both a celebration of his triumph and a show of appreciation to the people who had a hand in getting him here. With money for down payments and closing costs, a program called "Home of Your Own" helps physically and mentally disabled people with good credit and the ability to maintain a house open the way to home ownership.

Cassie Hicks is the financial coordinator.

"I think when people realize sometimes that they can break the cycle... and realize that they can own something, it's an excitement for them."

Crosby says he can't wait for the day he mails in his last house payment.

"Ain't nobody to tell me what I can and can't do," said Crosby. "I can come and go as I please here you know. This is my home."

The program is run by the Institute for Disability Studies at the University of Southern Mississippi.

To apply, call Cassie Hicks at 1-888-671-0051 or 601-266-5163.