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Operation Homefront today partnered with JPMorgan Chase & Co., TV personalities, entrepreneurs, and authors, Drew and Jonathan Scott, and Asian Real Estate Association of America Education Foundation to present and award a military family with a mortgage-free home donated by Chase.
Executives from Chase Home Lending along with Amy Kong, from the AREAA Education Foundation, were in attendance to award the mortgage-free home to U.S. Marine Sergeant Matthew Palermo and his family during the 2017 AREAA Conference at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel.
"We're honored to take part in this special event with some of our closest partners to celebrate the Palermo family's sacrifice to our country through their military service, and support the next steps on their path towards home ownership," said Sean Grzebin, Head of Originations for Chase Home Lending. "Chase has long been committed to those who have served, including in the housing sector, through dedicated home lending benefits for veterans and our Home Awards program, which has donated more than 900 mortgage-free homes to military families since 2011."
After the presentation, the Scott Brothers, Jonathan and Drew, surprised the family with a check in the amount of $10,000 to select furniture from their line, Scott Living. Once the family moves into their home, they will have the opportunity to purchase new furniture.
U.S. Marine Sergeant Matthew Palermo enlisted in the military in 2005 in his hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Allison, wanted to start a family and they wanted to make sure there was a steady income. Matthew served as an assault amphibious vehicle crew chief and prepared tactical equipment during ship to shore movement and for operations ashore. His deployments took him to Iraq in 2006, Japan in 2011, and Afghanistan in 2013. He medically retired last year.
For the past couple of months, Matthew and his family have been living at the Operation Homefront Transitional Housing Village in San Diego. Matthew and Allison have been married for 14 years and have four children.
The Palermo's were accepted into the Village program after hearing about it through Matthew's counselor. While living at the Village, they have been able to save money, reduce their debt, strengthen their family connection and support system, and transition smoothly into civilian life. After hearing about Operation Homefront's Homes on the Homefront program through the Village director, they applied for a home.
Matthew is receiving a mortgage-free home in Hallsville, Texas, and plans to continue treatment with the local Veteran Affairs. Matthew and Allison also plan to become financially stable and find a career that's personally fulfilling.
"This home is going to change our lives – we have moved eight times in the past 12 years," said Matthew. "This new home will give us room to grow and to heal as a family – we are going to be able to breathe and relax. I am trying to accept the idea of being homeowners and I am grateful for this opportunity. It's time to plant roots and it's the time to do it in Texas."
"Operation Homefront's commitment to build strong, stable, and secure military families could never become a reality without the support of long-term partners like JPMorgan Chase and organizations like AREAA," said Margi Kirst, chief development officer for Operation Homefront. "It's always wonderful to present a deserving military family with a mortgage-free home, but having the Scott Brothers join us made it even more special for Matthew Palermo and his family as they begin their journey to homeownership."
The home was awarded through Operation Homefront's Homes on the Homefront program. The program began in 2012. Since inception, Operation Homefront has placed nearly 600 veterans and their families in mortgage-free homes providing more than $56 million in deeded value to military families.
Matthew and his family will participate in one-on-one homeowner counseling services for one to three years. The family will also participate in a customized transition plan, including financial counseling and savings planning.
More on JPMorgan Chase's Commitment to Servicemembers and Veterans:
JPMorgan Chase has supported our veterans since before World War I. The Office of Military and Veterans Affairs (MVA) works closely with the company's business and consumer-facing facets and with non-profit and government partners to ensure that service members and veterans and their families have access to resources including products and services, employment opportunities, small business and strategic initiatives, and talent acquisition and development.
Since MVA started in 2011, JPMorgan Chase has hired more than 12,000 veterans and facilitated more than 400,000 veteran hires through the Veteran Jobs Mission coalition; awarded more than 900 mortgage-free homes to military families in need; helped 7,700 veterans and military spouses complete 10,500 career certifications through Veterans Career Transition Program at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, which was co-founded and is supported by JPMorgan Chase and Syracuse University. 120 of those homes were donated to veteran families in California. Learn more at: www.jpmorganchase.com/veterans.
About the AREAA Education Foundation:
The AREAA Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to empowering the Asian American community through housing. Since 2010, the foundation has partnered with various individuals, corporate sponsors, and likeminded organizations to serve the AAPI community through leadership training, veteran housing, and disaster relief. The foundation is an affiliate of the Asian Real Estate Association of America.