Kristen learned about Entryway (formerly Shelters to Shutters) through Maggie’s Place, a local nonprofit organization in Phoenix that provides safe housing and a nurturing community for women experiencing homelessness during the critical time of pregnancy and baby’s first year. At the time, Kristen was working for Instacart but wasn’t making enough to afford housing.
“When I was homeless and pregnant with my daughter Grace, I was broken. There was a point I wanted to end my life. But I pulled myself out of it – mentally what I was in… that’s how my daughter got her name, Grace, because she is my saving Grace.”
Through Entryway’s program, Kristen went through Edge2Learn’s Maintenance Tech career pathway courses to prepare herself for a potential opportunity with one of Entryway’s multifamily partners. “I knew I wanted to do maintenance,” commented Kristen. “I can’t sit behind a desk. I had experience doing landscaping in the past, and I enjoy being active.” Kristen also received resume review assistance and interviewing coaching at Entryway. All of which she credits to preparing her for what was to come.
Kristen’s hard work and perseverance paid off. On December 29, 2022, she began a full-time employment opportunity with Entryway Industry Partner, Olympus Property. She was hired as a Maintenance Tech and provided with a discounted apartment on-site at the community where she works. “I love working with the residents and being able to fix people’s stuff. I’m able to provide a solution and that feels good,” said Kristen.
“This opportunity has provided the housing stability and financial stability I needed. I was even able to recently get a new car that I needed. It’s given me a lot of my confidence back.”
Kristen continued, “I used to run from challenges in my life. Now I face them head on. I’ve learned to trust myself and know that I can get through things.”
Kristen is excited to see where the opportunity takes her and she hopes to get more training to get certifications in the maintenance field including HVAC. She sees a future in multifamily and hopes to be able to move up in her field.
“Nobody can do it for you. It’s better to do the work yourself because you feel so proud after. It’s very humbling. I got my car last week, and I’m so humbled. When I go into my apartment, I am humbled because I know how quickly it can be gone. To anyone who is in a similar situation as I was in, keep fighting. Keep pushing.”