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Meet The Team Behind: First Story

First Story is a nonprofit dedicated to fortifying communities and disrupting the cycle of multigenerational poverty through affordable homeownership. First Story works hand in hand with building company Hayden Homes to help get families into homes in the Northwest. Learn more about their impactful work here

What is First Story's mission? 


First Story knows that homeownership can change lives, empower families, and break the cycle of poverty. We provide affordable homeownership opportunities to under-resourced families across Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. First Story began in 1998 as a grassroots way for team members at Hayden Homes to support community members in need. Since then, we’ve placed 117 families into homes. 100% of them earn less than the median income and are first time home buyers, and 80% are the first in their families to ever own a home. 


How does First Story help families get access to affordable homes?


Through an innovative partnership with builder Hayden Homes, First Story provides loans for move-in ready homes that working families can afford. Hayden Homes constructs homes in existing Hayden Homes communities that are then sold by First Story through a 30-year, zero-down, zero-percent interest loan to families earning 80 percent of area median income or below. First Story has also granted more than $2.4 million to more than 1,000 charities throughout the Northwest through its grant program. These donations help to provide shelter, food and advocacy services throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.


Can you tell me about the families you work with?


Our families come from all sorts of backgrounds. We worked with the Kuper family in Idaho, who struggled with homelessness while the matriarch of the family underwent cancer treatments. The Ayala family moved into a Hayden Homes property in Oregon, giving their children a safe space to grow up. First Story advocates for equal housing opportunities for our families, meaning that everyone can access housing without being stopped due to their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, physical or mental challenges, family situation, or where they come from. 


What does your grant program entail? 


First Story has given more than $2.4 million in grants through our Community Grant Giving program to over 1,000 charities including food banks, domestic violence shelters, and veterans support groups. We have regional committees who are engaged in the local community who determine how funds are directed in the areas we serve. First Story doesn’t receive any government funding— our programs and grants are funded by the sales of Hayden Homes. A percentage of the sale of every Hayden Home is invested in First Story to give back to the community.

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