Odessa’s story is one of overcoming. Facing difficulty at home, she had missed a lot of work and lost her job. She and her husband separated and eviction quickly followed.

As a homeless mother of two sets of twins under the age of 5, Odessa heard about a local shelter that could help keep families like hers together. “I like to call it ‘transitional housing.’ That sounds better than shelter. Shelter is a hard word to say. It’s hard for me even to admit that—I’ve always been stable. I’ve never been unstable.”

It was her social worker that introduced her to Shelters to Shutters and let her know there were opportunities for qualified, hard-working people like her to start not only a new career, but a new life.

She applied, completed the interview process and was eventually one of Shelters to Shutters’ first hires. The Shelters to Shutters program provided employee rate housing and the opportunity to live on-site in one of the complex’s apartments. No commute means more time with the kids and less transportation and daycare expenses.

Odessa is still thriving today in her position and recently received her National Apartment Leasing Professional certification from the National Apartment Association Education Institute.

“Shelters to Shutters to me? It’s a dream come true.”