In 2008, Kissy was in the process of trying to buy her first home when a friend told her about Homes Within Reach (HWR). “I was looking for a quiet neighborhood to raise my children,” said Kissy. “I was living with my mom and had just delivered my youngest child, a micro-preemie baby.  I contacted HWR and started working with them on my application.”

The mission of the not for profit organization, West Hennepin Affordable Land Trust (WHAHLT), dba Homes Within Reach (HWR), a not for profit organization, is to create and preserve affordable homeownership for work-force families living and working in the suburban communities of Hennepin County. HWR offers qualified work-force families the opportunity to purchase a home by using the Community Land Trust practice which removes the land from the mortgage equation and leases the land at a nominal fee, which reduces the mortgage, down payment and closing costs.

“I bought the very first house I saw,” said Kissy. “I believe if you think long, you think wrong. I knew it was for me – a clean four bedroom home. I worked on my credit with a representative from US Bank to get approved for a mortgage, attended a HWR First Time Buyer program and received help to pay some of my closing costs from the Family Assets for Independence in Minnesota (FAIM) Program.”

In 2011 Kissy met her husband Corinthian (Cory) and together they make their home in Minnetonka. Cory shared, “I was excited because I finally had a home, our sanctuary. We are a blended family with six children, five fully grown and one child still growing.” Today, they both enjoy an easy commute to their workplaces. Kissy works as a domestic violence advocate and Cory works as postman for the US Postal Service.

Before moving into the house, HWR painted, carpeted and created more open space between the living room and dining room. “I was excited to move in and being able to paint the colors of my rooms – until then I never could pick out my own colors,” said Kissy.

“The HWR staff are fabulous,” said Kissy. “There hasn’t been a time when I called and I couldn’t get a hold of them. They have always been supportive. Every year HWR sends out a ‘To Do List’ – and we like it because it helps us remember the things to do and keeps us on track on what to do seasonally.

“We love our neighborhood and we have some beautiful neighbors,” said Kissy and Cory. “We got what we wanted, a peaceful neighborhood to raise our children in and a home where our children or other family members can come back to when they fall on hard times. It’s all about family and Minnetonka is a family oriented place.”