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Church partners to help with finances

By Lydia Grimes

 

The First United Methodist Church of Brewton is partnering with the Communities of Communication (COT) for a series of programs to aid those who have trouble with their finances.

“Our goal is to move families toward self-sufficiency and break the cycle of dependency on public agencies,” said Shae Hines, who is working with the group at First United Methodist Church of Brewton. “Some people are on a cycle of depending on others instead of depending on themselves and it is our goal to change that.”

The series of meetings planned for the next few weeks are sponsored by United Bank and are being held at the church. They begin on Feb. 20 and continue on Feb. 22, 27 and March 1. The program will be presented by Rick Zapata, Regional Extension Agent and it is still not to late to join the group.

“It is amazing how it transforms a person from depending on others for housing and food stamps, to taking care of it themselves,” Hines said. “I have seen some real success stories happen. Participants are getting jobs, getting GED’s, working on education and training goals, paying off debts, opening savings accounts and setting important goals to build a new future.”

The classes planned will include developing a budget/living debt free, understanding the credit score, records and home buying versus renting.

The COT is one of the priorities of Shae Hines. She believes it to be a way to help people get out of the habit of depending on someone else and learn to depend on themselves. When they successfully do this it helps them to have self-esteem to believe they can make a difference in their own lives.

Hines was born and raised in Brewton and graduated from T.R. Miller High School in 2006. She attended Huntingdon College, later transferring to the University of Alabama where she received her degree in political science and history.

“My goal is to become a lawyer,” she said. “I have had a few set-backs, but I will make it. When I was in the third grade, I told my teacher, Becky O’Neal, that I was going to become a lawyer and help people. She gave me a ring that I held on to all these years and it became my engagement ring later on.”

Her husband is from Evergreen and played basketball. He later played pro-basketball and they traveled overseas.

“After we came back to the states, we settled in Montgomery for the next two years where I worked with the Montgomery Housing Authority. I would like to change the face of public housing and change the mentality of those who think they can’t do it on their own.”

She was mostly raised by her grandmother and believes she was greatly influenced by her. She worked for 37 years at Dairy Queen.

“I went to work at a private law office with the help of Ed Hines, an attorney in Brewton.” she said. “After I graduated from college I worked with Brenda Van, a Social Security attorney. Now I am the administrative assistant to attorney, John Bolton.”

Hines and her husband are now the proud parents of a five month old daughter, Chloe Grace. She said she didn’t have a lot of free time, bur she enjoys being a new mom.

“I also like to get together with some of my girl friends from high school and go on cruises. We have one planned this coming spring on Norwegian Cruise ship and I am looking forward to it. I am involved with my church and try to participate in the things they do.”