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Did you know that women are 35% more likely to live in poverty than men, with single mothers facing the highest risk? That’s why, in the last several weeks, our team members have been volunteering for the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Dallas initiative to support and empower women by keeping the dream of homeownership alive in our community. Volunteer Maneesha Asundi shares her first-time experience with Women Build Dallas 2021.
Maneesha Asundi – Senior Principal IT Manager, Mr. Cooper
Volunteering at Habitat for Humanity was more than simply checking off a bucket-list item for me. I heard about a unique opportunity to volunteer with Mr. Cooper Group in partnership with Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build initiative, which teaches concepts to empower women to learn about homeownership, finances, and how to work towards fulfilling that dream.
With the onset of COVID-19, a lot of things changed, including what volunteering looked like at Mr. Cooper Group. I was excited to step outside my comfort zone with the Women Build event. The entire process was very well organized and conducted in a compassionate manner. Throughout the event, we never let down our safety guardrails including mandatory face masks, hard hats, and scheduled breaks.
It was humbling to build alongside the homeowner herself. Part of Habitat’s build process requires the homeowner to put in 250 hours of sweat equity to qualify for a $0 down payment and 0% interest on their mortgage. Research highlights the gender and racial disparity in homeownership; so just when the odds of a single mother with two kids becoming a homeowner seemed like a distant dream, incentives like sweat equity through Habitat’s program made it possible for this woman to manage the cost of homeownership.
Seeing the pride and joy of beating all the odds on her face, hammering out the details, one nail at a time—was priceless. Moreover, the synergy of working with other women leaders was incredible. Many of them routinely volunteer at the build events and play a huge part in keeping this dream alive.
I wanted to teach other women about homeownership, but in the process, I ended up learning a lot more about it for myself! Such precious experiences like this one add up to make Mr. Cooper Group a great place to work. You can get a job anywhere; however, it is quite rare to find a culture that encourages and nurtures you to be a champion, cheerleader, and challenger in both your professional and personal life.