MACHIAS — The Community Caring Collaborative is excited to introduce a new financial assistance program specifically created to help first-time homebuyers in Washington County. “The Joy Fund” provides up to $1,000 to help cover the cost of an array of home inspections, which is key to ensuring a new home purchase is safe and affordable and can also offer a road map for repairs to a new home owner.

Georgiana (Georgie) Joy Kendall, a fifth generation Downeaster, started this fund to support Washington County folks make the transition from renting to home ownership. Too often Georgie saw families stretched financially during the months between going under contract on a house, making their rental payments, putting down an earnest money deposit, and affording home inspections, only to forgo home inspections, an essential part of the home-buying process that is not covered by existing programs.

“Home ownership is the most expensive & important investment an individual can make in themselves, their future, their family, and their community,” says Georgie, who approached the CCC with seed money for this fund idea.

The CCC staff were delighted to make this form of financial assistance a reality for folks looking to stay in Washington County as home owners, and also for folks who used to live here and would like to return. “Housing is very challenging right now. If The Joy Fund can better help people reach their dreams of owning a home in Washington County, then we’re really excited to do that,” says Charley Martin-Berry, CCC director.

Applications to The Joy Fund are made online by Washington County-based real estate agents on behalf of homebuyers. Links to the online application and instructions are found on the CCC’s website under the “services & programs,” tab.

Georgie has vowed to continue fundraising for the program, and recently contacted First National Bank which serves customers in Washington County from its Eastport and Calais offices. Several individuals have made substantial contributions to The Joy Fund, and now First National Bank has made a generous donation of $3,000, expanding the reach of this program to more first-time homebuyers. 100 percent of donations go directly to helping first-time homebuyers.

All donations to The Joy Fund are tax deductible and can be made online at

The CCC is an organization that incubates programs, operates three barrier removal programs, and convenes and supports partners at the local, state and federal level working to improve the lives of all individuals and families in Washington County. Visit or find us on Facebook to learn more.