Building Independence

Alisha Simpkins Launches Single Moms to Homeowners…

Alisha Simpkins, a Chico real estate agent, has a story that embodies resilience, compassion and the power of second chances. Her life’s journey has taken her from a challenging upbringing to becoming a beacon of hope for single parents in need. Today, she is not only a successful real estate agent at Keller Williams, but also the founder of the nonprofit Single Moms to Homeowners.

Photos by Natalia Holmes.

Simpkins’ life story began with adversity, as she found herself pregnant at age 17 during her senior year of high school in Santa Rosa. Living conditions were far from stable; Simpkins, her mother and younger brothers faced frequent evictions, and her siblings even experienced periods of homelessness, taking refuge in the garages of acquaintances. Simpkins herself resorted to sleeping in her car at age 16, a testament to her determination to survive despite the odds stacked against her.

By the time she turned 25, Simpkins had become the guardian of her two younger brothers, 12 and 13 years old at the time, while raising her own son. Her parents had made choices that led them down the dark path of addiction, leaving Simpkins to shoulder the responsibilities of parenthood and sibling care alone. Her childhood was marked by constantly changing schools, making it difficult for her to form lasting connections with teachers or peers. Yet, amidst the chaos, she clung to her education as her lifeline.

“I was terrified to fail,” Simpkins recalls, “School was my savior.” Despite facing unimaginable challenges, she persevered, returning to school just days after giving birth to her son. This unwavering determination would later become a driving force in her life.

Photos by Natalia Holmes.

Simpkins believes her tumultuous early life was not in vain; instead, it served as a preparation for a greater purpose. Her faith and the guidance of her church pastor played a pivotal role in helping her realize her calling. She confided in her pastor about feeling as though she was not living up to her potential and was playing small when she was meant to play bigger.

“I felt like I was being called to be a motivational speaker,” Simpkins shares. Her pastor connected her with a friend who was a motivational speaker, and this serendipitous encounter changed the course of her life. Simpkins reflects, “I might not have had a good example of who I wanted to be, but I had a great example of who I didn’t want to be, based on how I was raised.”

As Simpkins embarked on her journey as a motivational speaker, she had a revelation that led to the creation of a program designed to support single parents in achieving their dreams of homeownership. This program, Single Moms to Homeowners, aimed to empower hardworking single parents and show them that they could overcome obstacles and become homeowners.

Establishing this nonprofit was a significant step for Simpkins, who was determined not to be the sole source of funding. She worked tirelessly to create a sustainable model that required participants to maintain their homes and qualify for mortgage payments.

Photos by Natalia Holmes.

In the two years since its inception, Single Moms to Homeowners has already made a profound impact on the lives of six single parents. Simpkins’ dedication to her mission shines through as she passionately discusses the program. “I get inspired through their stories,” she says.

Simpkins believes the program could make an even greater impact with more community involvement and support. She is constantly on the lookout for individuals who share her vision and are willing to contribute to the cause.

The parents who come to Simpkins for assistance are often in dire circumstances. They have often faced abusive relationships and have nowhere else to turn. Simpkins’ program offers them hope and a chance at a brighter future. People can help in numerous ways, including giving monetary donations, donating homes or getting involved with the nonprofit.

Photos by Natalia Holmes.

“Our mission statement is to give people hope,” Simpkins says. “Owning a home gives them hope.” Antachea Knabe, a former client of Simpkins’, attests to the life- changing impact of the program. “It was what I envisioned for myself and my kids,” Knabe says. “She held my hand through the process. It felt more like family walking me through it.” •

Single Moms to Homeowners • (530) 354-4244

Article Written by:

Jennie Blevins hails from Monterey and has lived in Chico for two years. She graduated from Chico State with a degree in journalism and received a master’s in magazine journalism from NYU. Blevins is a general assignment reporter at the Chico Enterprise-Record.

Photos by Natalia Holmes.
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