MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - When Tracey Glaude first heard about what Reach Mississippi was doing to help potential homeowners, she wasn't quite convinced.
"At first, I thought it was a joke, but then when I came to a meeting and realized it was real, I actually cried. I just prayed I got the opportunity to get approved," says Glaude.
Glaude's prayers were answered when she learned she was one of 20 school employees to make it through round one of REACH Mississippi's housing program. Through the program, those selected can receive up to $40,000 dollars toward the down payment of a new home.
"We were ecstatic to hear the news. As you know, my philosophy is a happy employee is a good employee," says Kim Staley, Moss Point Superintendent.
As a single mother, Glaude says owning a home is one of many steps she's taking to create a better life for herself and her three children.
"In May, I will receive my Associates Degree at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, and I want them to understand it's never too late," says Glaude.
The next phase includes home ownership education and counseling through a program called Housing 2010. The sessions include helping potential homeowners, if necessary, repair their credit.
"Hopefully, I will know in the next few months or so if I'm able to buy my home," says Glaude.
It will be a home she will finally be able to call her own. Glaude was one of 267 people across three coastal counties approved in round one.