That’s how Rhonda Coney described her experiences at Rebecca’s Tent.
Before Rhonda became homeless she was a truck driver and she still dreams of returning to that work. She became homeless after her truck broke down and she couldn’t afford to pay the ticket or repair the truck.
When she first came to the shelter Rhonda’s goals were to get a job and save money for affordable housing. After two months at Rebecca’s Tent she was able to meet both goals. She landed a full-time job as a Store Associate at the new Goodwill Store in Buckhead and a second part time job as a Security Guard. She found a two-bedroom apartment and a friend to share it in order to save on expenses.
“The Shelter has been super. So many things were helpful – the transportation, the food, clothing, information about jobs. All of the services were very helpful because they allowed me to become self sufficient.” She particularly liked the empowerment workshop on communications which “helped to better understand who you are.”
Shelter staff also referred her to Intown Collaborative Ministries, which will continue to provide case management to Rhonda for up to 18 months to support her housing and income stability.
Rhonda loved driving a truck and is saving up to pay off the ticket and return to that work. Meanwhile, she enjoys her job at Goodwill and living in her new apartment. She is proud that when she moved out of the shelter, the other residents told her: “You’re an inspiration to us.”
A special letter from a former resident to founder Jane Axelrod. You never know whose lives you can affect! Former Resident Letter
Becoming homeless was terrifying for 36 year old Debbie, whose greatest fear was not having a safe place for her two children to live. She was fiercely determined that they not go to a shelter and convinced their paternal grandmother to take them in. While living a part she visited and talked with her kids several times a day and faithfully attended her son’s basketball games.
A medical assistant, Debbie began her path to homelessness when her office moved to a location with no public transportation. She had to leave her job of 10 years. Then, she broke up with her partner and no longer had financial support. It didn’t take long for her to deplete her savings and her options.
Debbie found help at our shelter, where she received hot meals, a MARTA card, clothing, and access to dental care and help with her resume. She was also connected with case management assistance and an incentive savings program.
In just one month she found part-time employment. Working late hours, she saved for an apartment and finally landed a good full-time position with a cleaning service. Using her savings plus matching funds from a community program, she and her children moved into their own apartment, where they still live.
After living at our shelter for only two months 60 year old Eloise Robinson was able to take solid steps toward independence. The shelter’s job-hunting training led her to a temporary part time job at Georgia State University, which supported her move to her daughter’s home. She then joined the shelter’s Follow Up Program and was referred to Intown Collaorative Mnistries, which provided case management and a matched savings program.
Before long Eloise moved into her own rented room and was hired through the Follow Up program by A Sparkling Touch Cleaning Service, with whom she had trained while at the shelter.
“You all really helped me turn my life around,” she told Shelter Executive Director Sallie Weddell. She also joyfully informed Sallie that she had been hired for a full-time cleaning position at Georgia State.
According to Sallie, the shelter will continue to work with Eloise to support her employment and housing goals.