Osée Tshiwape came to the United States from Congo six years ago. He was one of the lucky 50,000 recipients of the “Diversity Visa Lottery” that year, a State Department program that allows access to a green card for immigrants of certain countries.

When Osée became interested in buying a house, he connected with LaCasa on the advice of a friend, who was actually the owner of the house he bought. The friend knew that LaCasa had programs that might help Osée to be prepared to purchase the house when the owner was ready to sell.

Osée went online to find out more about the program. He was connected to Jessica George, IDA/ Home Ownership Counselor. Toward the end of his participation in the program, he worked with Joel Zwier, Financial Capabilities Counselor.

Joel asked Osée what really impacted him in working with LaCasa.  Osee said: “I really liked the Money for Life classes.  The main lesson I learned was: “Don’t spend money on things you want, but ask the question ‘Do I really need it?’  Before, many times I bought stuff I really didn’t need.  Asking this question really helped me save more money over time.” He said that the Money4Life classes reminded him of some life principles. In his words, “There is no such thing as being poor in life. The task is just to know how to manage your money.”

Osée told Joel, “The process of saving, it took me months to get there.  That took patience.  Learning to discipline myself to deposit funds into my IDA was a bit of a challenge; a good challenge but still a challenge. I don’t believe I would have achieved my goal of homeownership without LaCasa.  Knowing my savings was being matched motivated me to push on to my goal. “

To find out more about the IDA program, call 574-533-4450 or visit http://lacasainc.net/programs/dream-savers/.