Dreams to Reality: Homeownership

Marie’s Story

Navigating the housing world today is an undertaking. We’re here to help.

In this series, Dreams to Reality, we will hear from several Urban Edge clients who have experienced successes, whether that be in renting, buying, or affordably maintaining their homes. We’re so proud to have worked with these hardworking people, and we are thrilled to be part of the process of making their housing dreams a reality.

One of our services that we are most passionate about is providing families with the resources they need to purchase a home. As many of our clients will tell you, buying a home takes patience, resilience and determination. When the system is stacked against you, it’s hard to know where to start – and we’re here to make it a little easier.

This story comes from Marie Fleurine, who gave her dream a shot despite the barriers. She proved her doubts wrong and now owns her own home.


“I have been living in this country since 2009. I work a lot, I’m a single mother, and I get tired.
I’ve always wanted to own a home, but I didn’t think I could do it all by myself.”

Marie Fleurine, originally from Haiti, has been living in Boston for 13 years. In December of
2022, she purchased her first home.

Marie wanted to be a homeowner, but was intimidated by the process. She didn’t know where to
start. Then, a friend mentioned a class she could take – Urban Edge’s First Time Homebuyer
class. So, Marie went to our website, and saw the class was offered in Haitian Creole. Urban
Edge is one of two organizations who offer First Time Homebuyer classes in Haitian Creole in
the Boston area. Marie signed up for our class immediately and was connected with Gercide
Luc, our Community Programs Associate Director.

“I don’t even know how to describe Gercide! Ever since I met her I’ve been trying to put it into
words. She’s so wonderful, she has almost TOO much patience, she never gets tired, and she’s
always there for you.”

With Gercide’s guidance and three sessions of our home buying class under her belt, Marie
entered a lottery to buy a condo in October of 2021.
At some points in the process, Marie felt confused and discouraged. She kept getting put on the
waitlist. Presenting the same information and documents over and over again was exhausting.
But, she persisted. After being waitlisted at the first lottery, Marie entered a second lottery in
August of 2022.

“I remember one day I was crying. Gercide called me and said, ‘Al lave figi w (go wash your
face), take a deep breath, epi rele m pi ta (and call me later). It’s good to cry sometimes. You’re
going to be okay.’ And after that I felt alright again! I called her back and we laughed.”
In December of 2022, Marie received an email.

“‘Congratulations’ it said! I couldn’t believe it. I thought I had been put on the waitlist again. But I
had won! I was so happy.”

Marie moved into her condo this January. Her 12 year old daughter painted her bedroom bright
pink, and loves their new home.

“This was always something I wanted, but I didn’t think I could do it on my own. I couldn’t have
done it without Gercide. But now I own this condo, and I know everything is going to be okay.”
To others looking to buy their own home, Marie says: “Go for it! Take the First Time Homebuyer
class. I didn’t think I could do it, but I did. I was in that same situation … I did it, and you can do
it too.”