Homeownership is Freedom, Patience, and Having A Dog!


What are you most excited about in your new home? 

“Having it! Keys in our pocket!” 

This was the response of Glenn and Darlena Young, whom we interviewed after they officially welcomed friends and family into their new home following a ribbon cutting ceremony. The Young family is one of hundreds who have been able to fulfill their homeownership dreams through purchasing an NHS-renovated home.  

Glenn and Darlene Young attend NHS ribbon cutting ceremony for their new home.

What made you want to stay in New Haven? 

Staying in New Haven was essential to the Young family, and Glenn immediately answered, “The New Haven Promise.”  He was beaming to share that his son had just graduated from Southern Connecticut University, debt-free. The New Haven Promise works to break intergenerational poverty by providing scholarships to New Haven Public School students who are performing well, academically. The Promise provides a full-ride scholarship to Connecticut’s community colleges for two years.  

Glenn wants to contribute to rewriting the narrative where New Haven is often looked at as a place, “not to live.” The breath of fresh air and wealth of knowledge that the HomeOwnership Center (HOC) provided, supported Glenn in his journey to rewrite the narrative as “the place to live.” 

Bouncing off of this, Darlena was excited to share her disbelief of the free classes that the HOC offers. The budgeting class was a crucial learning experience for her and her husband. “It’s a beautiful thing to know there’s someone out there to help out with that.” Following up on his wife’s words, Glenn gave grateful recognition to Bridgette Russell’s critical role in making their homeownership dreams a reality. As the Managing Director of the HOC, “Bridgette put her heart into it,” Glenn said. 

“As a Black man in New Haven,” Glenn continues, “it’s difficult.” Glenn added that he was very grateful to have Bridgette be so understanding to his needs and to provide a plan that they could truly utilize. 

What are you most excited about with your new home? 

“We have more freedom. I’m most happy because we have a place to call our own for our children. And we can pass it down to our children.” The lack of generational wealth disproportionately affects the communities that NHS serves. Families of color are just beginning to have the opportunity to build generational wealth after years of being denied mortgages and still facing the lasting impact of systemic racist practices.  

Darlena went on to explain that when people are renting, they’re at the mercy of the landlord’s discretion. For example, they wanted to get a dog, but their previous landlord wouldn’t allow it. As new homeowners, the Young family might just be growing with the addition of a new furry friend. 

What advice do you have for people going through the homeownership journey? 

“One word,” Darlena answered, “patience.” 

When do you want to move in? 

Simultaneously, “Now! Right now!” 

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