When Moma learned about Shelters to Shutters, he was attending Atlanta Technical College studying for a degree in electrical engineering/construction maintenance. He was also working the night shift at McDonald’s and used their Wi-Fi on his breaks to do homework. After his shift, he would find a safe place to park his car to sleep for a few hours and then go to his classes.
“I was fortunate enough to always keep a financial aid scholarship going,” Moma said. “I always made sure my grades were good enough so I wouldn’t have to pay too much out of pocket. My job at McDonald’s would take care of my car insurance and my gas. My car was pretty much my house.”
As an S2S partner, Atlanta Technical College presented the program as an opportunity to students in need of housing and looking for a career in the apartment industry as a maintenance tech or groundskeeper. It was the perfect opportunity for Moma. He didn’t realize he might be qualified to work in a maintenance role for an apartment complex and was excited to learn more. As a young man growing up, he had always enjoyed fixing things and working with his hands. He jumped at the opportunity to have a job in that field while also living where he worked.
After applying to S2S, Moma was invited to attend an S2S hiring event where he met with multiple employers. Moma’s positive attitude and hard work ethic impressed two different companies, which both offered him a position. He chose to accept a Groundskeeper position with Gables Residential.
“The hiring event was nerve-racking at first, but once you get over the first initial shock, it was great,” Moma said. “We had a coach working with us before we even went into the room. They helped me go through my resume and we did a pre-interview run-through to help me get my initial nervousness out of the way.”
Moma started as a Groundskeeper at a property in midtown Atlanta and moved into a one-bedroom apartment on the property. Within six months, Moma was promoted to Punch Tech and moved to work at a larger complex. Today, he continues to take classes as his work schedule permits to reach his goal of obtaining an electrical degree.
“S2S catapulted me to a whole other level. Now I have a stable job and my own apartment,” Moma said. “I can do school now without stressing about having to park somewhere safe so I can sleep. Now I can go home and have internet service in my house to get my assignments done.”
Staying positive during the lowest times was hard but important for him mentally to keep going. When asked what advice he would give to someone who might find themselves experiencing homelessness or in hard times, Moma said,
“I would say keep a positive outlook on everything. Things happen in life that nobody has control over, and blaming yourself will set you back. Do your best to get out there and look for opportunities. There are opportunities like S2S. You just have to stay positive.”