Maturity & Making Good Decisions
DeAngela is a very friendly and chatty woman. She is also very private about much of her life history and the situations she has encountered, wanting instead to highlight her new life as a resident of the Homes for New Beginnings Program (HNB) at Maxwell Garden. At just 29 years old, DeAngela’s desire to emphasize what is to come, instead of what was, makes perfect sense to our Pathlight HOME team and we’re here to help her do just that.
Growing up in Orlando, DeAngela had dreams of completing school and working in a profession such as cosmetology. That was not to happen, however, as she became pregnant, lost her focus on education, and quit school.
Having moved around a lot in her adult life, DeAngela’s wanderlust led her to Nevada in 2016 and back again to Orlando. In fact, she moved back and forth several times in the next three years; her housing and lifestyle certainly never really steady. Finally, she decided Nevada wasn’t for her; she wanted to be around family and moved back to Orlando to live.
Now, DeAngela was homeless in her home town. “I lived place to place. I really wasn’t living in a stable living condition,” she remembers. “I was in two shelters, living on the streets, and with friends who weren’t supportive.”
Realizing this was not how she wanted to live, yet being fearful there would not be affordable housing for her, she started to pray. “I’m a religious person…God showed me a sign. He led me in the direction to take that big step.”
Still doubting there would be a place for her, in March 2019 she was accepted into our dormitory-style Safe Haven Program and was finally able to lay her head on a clean pillow and not concrete. Her hope was to transfer into our Homes for New Beginnings Program, where she would obtain an efficiency unit when the time was right.
Once she had secure housing, DeAngela thought about her onetime goals of education and career, and had “to figure out what I need to do.” With the encouragement of her Safe Haven Case Manager, Rotaya Cobb, and her present HNB Case Manager, Gail Smith, she has realized that “money management, going back to school, staying focused and getting back on track…” are her starting points. “Miss Rotaya was really helpful and said, ‘You can do it!’ Miss Gail motivates me. I have to do a budget for her.”
As school is a “must do,” she’s excited to be starting GED classes soon and hopes to follow that with culinary training. We think our Pathlight Kitchen Culinary Training Program will be a perfect training ground for her!
Admitting she sometimes gets bored during this COVID-19 pandemic, even so she is determined to live responsibly and to continue to keep stable housing. “I’m realizing that maturity is important and [I can] make good life decisions.”