Sharon D. Edwards
Sharon D Edwards is an affordable housing counselor and financial education specialist with extensive experience in budgeting, money management, credit counseling, and loan packaging. She has obtained more than 15 certifications in housing and homeownership counseling from NeighborWorks Training Institute; and is a Certified Loan Packager for USDA. Her non-profit organization, Community Outreach Training Center, Inc., is a Comprehensive Housing Counseling Agency dedicated to providing homebuyer education, foreclosure prevention, and housing counseling services to Southwest Georgia residents. The purpose of her program is to support other non-profit housing organizations to expand affordable housing opportunities to low to moderated income citizens.
She has served as a certified housing counselor for several years providing a variety of services to support homebuyers, tenants, and homeowners in maintaining their housing. Her organization has provided Homebuyer Education for more than 350 clients between 2017- 2022; and have assisted several families with successfully obtaining a home loan. In 2018, twenty-one permits were pulled for new residential builds in the City of Thomasville and 5 of those recipients were clients Community Outreach Training Center.
In addition to working with clients and preparing them for homeownership, she served as the Chair for the Southwest Georgia Regional Housing Task Force and Chairs the Thomasville Thomas County Homeless Coalition. She also hosts an Annual Housing Forum and facilitates Credit Building workshops throughout Southwest Georgia. She is also a part of the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing (GICH).
More importantly, Mrs. Edwards’ passion is helping people start businesses. She has more than 25 years’ experience managing and operating a business and helping others navigate through the rigorous task of starting their own business. She is one of the founders and facilitators of SPARK Thomasville and works with a team of local entrepreneurs and supporters to help those in the under-estimated community start and grow their businesses from concept to full operation.