‘Breaking generational curses’: Philadelphian buys first home

Renting wasn’t Rosheka’s endgame.

For years, the Philadelphian spun her wheels from rent increases and a stagnant savings account. She felt stuck in the same cycle as her parents: Never owning, not knowing key financial steps. Still, if she could spend $1,000 on rent, she was determined to afford a mortgage.

At first, Rosheka was leery of Clarifi’s services – could this place actually help her buy a home? But through counseling sessions, she soaked up financial knowledge like a sponge. She learned that good credit was key to buying a home and that debt could be negotiated: After two phone calls to her creditor, she paid off her $7,000 debt with just $3,000.

Clarifi gave me knowledge ā€“ and Iā€™m a college graduate ā€“ that college never gave to me, that was never spoken in my home.


She adopted the mantra, “Start saving and spend less.” She stopped habitually buying her kids everything they asked for. As she paid the bills off, her credit score improved. The progress was tangible.

Budgeting, sticking to financial goals, saving for what her family needed: “Those are tools I didn’t have before,” Rosheka said. “If I could tell my past self anything, it would be, ‘Save.'”

Rosheka’s counselor had assured her that together, they’d prepare her for homeownership. Two years after that initial counseling session, Rosheka bought her first home, a newly renovated rowhouse on a quiet block.

“Right now I can say this is mine,” Rosheka said. “This is my home. I own it.”

Rosheka stands outside her Philadelphia rowhouse, the first home she purchased after learning key financial steps at Clarifi.

Last year, she got a call from Clarifi: She qualified for a cash grant, no strings attached. Rosheka decided to make a direct investment in her home by buying a new stove, washer and dryer, then saving the rest to repair the steps on her stoop.

“For me, financial empowerment is breaking generational curses,” Rosheka said. She’s teaching her kids about credit, budgeting and saving. She’s breaking barriers to homeownership, to financial capability, to wealth – for herself and her family.

“If I only knew these things ahead of time, or years ago, I would have handled it differently,” she said.

Rosheka was 45 when she bought her first home. With the healthy financial habits her mother passed down from Clarifi, Rosheka’s 21-year-old daughter, Alexis, is working to become a homeowner even sooner.