In addition to being a wife, mother of four and grandmother of 11, Gladys is a certified mortgage counselor in the Ann B. Barshinger Financial Empowerment Center for Lancaster County (BFEC) at Tabor Community Services.
Nearly 30 years ago Gladys began working part-time at Tabor in a pilot program which is now called the Shelter to Independent Living (STIL) program. She assisted five homeless families whose children were in the care of the County Children and Youth Agency to find safe, affordable housing, get their children back and become self-sufficient within a year. This was achieved by assisting clients with budget counseling to learn how to take charge of their money, reduce debt, improve their credit and increase their financial stability.
Gladys has had many roles as a housing counselor, and has become a specialist in default mortgage and mortgage counseling. As a mortgage counselor she can help someone struggling with their mortgage to understand the available options to avoid foreclosure, learn how to access multiple options for emergency mortgage assistance and work with their lender to negotiate foreclosure solutions that can keep them in their home.
Gladys finds fulfillment in “helping people”. She has learned “I do what I can, I can’t help everybody, and I don’t take it personally if clients choose not to accept the help Tabor provides. I do my part in helping a client develop a plan, but they need to do their part. If I can put a smile on someone’s face after all they’ve been through, then I feel like I’ve done my job”.
Gladys’s goal is to retire in three years and possibly work part-time at Tabor. She finishes by saying, “It’s been quite a journey.”