January 24, 2019 12:15 pm

Regular Meeting-Sharon Edwards with SPARK Thomasville

FINANCIAL EDUCATION AND CREDIT COUNSELOR Mrs. Edwards’ passion is helping people start businesses. She has more than 25 years’ experience managing and operating a business and helping others navigate through the rigorous task of starting their own business. She is the facilitator of SPARK Thomasville and works with a team of local entrepreneurs and supporters to help those in the under-estimated community start and grow their businesses from concept to full operation. For the first Cohort, Spark Thomasville received 23 applications, interviewed 18 participants, and 13 were selected for the Pilot Class, which started on Tuesday, January 15, 2018. The ultimate goal of Spark Thomasville is to equip new business owners with the tools necessary to become successful and create economic viability. HOUSING COUNSELOR Sharon D Edwards is an affordable housing counselor and financial education specialist with extensive experience in budgeting, money management, credit counseling, and loan packaging. She has obtained more than 15 certification in housing and homeownership counseling from NeighborWorks Training Institute; and is a Certified Loan Packager for USDA. Her non-profit organization, Community Outreach Training Center, Inc., is a Comprehensive Housing Counseling Agency dedicated to providing homebuyer education, foreclosure prevention, and housing counseling services to Southwest Georgia residents. The purpose of her program is to support other non-profit housing organizations to expand affordable housing opportunities to low to moderated income citizens. She has served as a certified housing counselor for nearly five years providing a variety of services to support homebuyers, tenants, and homeowners in maintaining their housing. Her organization has provided Homebuyer Education for more than 200 clients between 2017- 2018; and have assisted ten families with successfully obtaining a home loan. In 2018, 21 permits were pulled for new residential builds in the City of Thomasville and 5 of those recipients were clients Community Outreach Training Center. In addition to working with clients and preparing them for homeownership, she serves as the Chair for the Southwest Georgia Regional Housing Task Force and Chairs the Thomasville Thomas County Homeless Coalition. She also hosts an Annual Housing Forum and facilitates Credit Building workshops throughout Southwest Georgia. She is also a part of the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing (GICH).

Rotary Club of Thomasville
217 South Broad Street
Thomasville, GA 31792