Woodbridge, VA – September 23, 2022 – First Home Alliance (FHA) President and Founder Larry Laws, Sr. interviewed U.S. Army Veteran and artist Nathaniel Jones, Jr. in the Fairfax County Public Access studios for this week’s taping of Rock Your Block. The episode will air on Channel 10. Jones works with District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA) and previously partnered with FHA to save his home from foreclosure.
Jones was born in Philadelphia and his family moved to Prince George’s County not long after his birth. His arts education included Thomas G. Pullen Performing Arts Academy and after high school Jones studied at the Corcoran School of Arts for a semester. Ultimately, he made the decision to enlist in the Army and enroll in the Army’s Artist Program, a U.S. Army program to create artwork documenting its involvements in war and peacetime engagements. As of November 2010, the Army Art collection comprises over 15,500 works of art from over 1,300 artists.
After leaving the Armed Forces, Jones’ drive to continue a life of service led him to start working for the U.S. Post Office as a mail clerk. He then worked for a variety of other well-known DC-area companies until he decided to retire from full-time employment in 2020 and focus more on his artwork. Laws and Jones discussed his early adult years and growing up in a large family where hard work and earning your own money was a way of life. Their conversation continued as the men talked about why Jones joined the Army and about Laws’ own experiences in the military. Then they talked about why Jones chose to pursue art, when he first started creating it, and how his style has changed over time.
On the topic of home ownership, they spoke about how Jones was able to utilize the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) guaranteed home loan program in the 90’s, to purchase his first home. First Home Alliance came to his aid in 2011 when Jones’ family faced a financial hardship following the mortgage crisis and market downturn that followed. The agency’s HUD counselors worked with his mortgage company’s Loss Mitigation Department to a prevent foreclosure. Jones referred to the work ethic instilled by this upbringing and talked about working a full-time job and picking up talked about working a full-time job and picking up side-jobs to help make ends meet.
Jones eventually retired and devoted most of his attention to his art. But when COVID hit, in combination with his wife’s compromised medical concerns, Jones again found himself falling behind with mortgage payments on a single fixed income. Once again, he started picking up side-jobs to maintain home ownership, and remembered that First Home Alliance provides mortgage default and loss mitigation counseling for homeowners.
And again, the agency’s HUD counselors did just that, and were able to assist with household financial management and helped Jones secure a mortgage assistance grant to stabilize his family and their housing. FHA was glad they were able to assist a second time and Jones expressed his gratitude for the compassionate and thoughtful services he received. You can watch the interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UI1–Q-ooUk&t=243s
Rock Your Block is a weekly tv program aired by Fairfax Public Access (FPA) on Channel 10. The show shines a spotlight on Fairfax County and Washington-area neighborhoods and individuals doing good in their communities and encouraging others in similar acts. Channel 10 airs local programming indicative of the diverse lifestyles and interests of the Washington metro area. Rock Your Block airs Tuesdays at 2:30pm, Fridays at 6pm, and Saturdays at 12:30am.
First Home Alliance is a HUD-approved 501(c)3 not-for-profit housing counseling agency promoting financial literacy and economic self-sufficiency. Their mission is to increase home ownership among low-to-moderate income communities and to sustain ownership through loss-mitigation counseling and foreclosure intervention. For more information or to make a tax-deductible donation to empower their mission please visit: www.FirstHomeAlliance.org