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 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,” Odessa said. “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.”
Her social worker introduced her to Shelters to Shutters and let her know there were opportunities for qualified, hardworking people like her to start not only a new career, but a new life.
She applied, completed the interview process, and became one of Shelters to Shutters’ first participants. The Shelters to Shutters program provided her with a full-time employment opportunity with Middleburg Management and discounted housing on site in one of the complex’s apartments. No commute means more time with the kids and less transportation expenses.
Odessa is still thriving today. In 2017, she received her National Apartment Leasing Professional certification from the National Apartment Association Education Institute and was recently promoted to an Assistant Manager position.
“Shelters to Shutters to me? It’s a dream come true.” – Odessa