TAWANDA'S STORY:

Fighting for Independence and a Stable Home

Tawanda
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Tawanda has always been a fighter, never giving up for her quest for a stable home and a comfortable life for herself.

It was that drive and determination that helped Tawanda find a new home after spending nearly a year in a local shelter. As she says, “The more you try to knock me down, the more I come up swinging.”

Born and raised in Boston, Tawanda had relocated to Virginia back in the early 2000s to help care for her mother. After her mom passed, she returned to the area in 2005, initially living in homeless shelters. It was during that time that Tawanda met Felisha Marshall, then of Boston Housing Authority and now Director of Housing Supports at Metro Housing.

“I could tell from the first time that I met Tawanda that she was a fighter in the sense that she would not let anything get in her way when it came to finding permanent housing,” says Felisha. “I’ve seen her work very hard for everything that she has achieved.”

Felisha helped Tawanda find an apartment in 2005 through the Boston Housing Authority. The two of them kept in touch periodically over the years, which turned out to be advantageous to Tawanda when she was evicted in 2019.

“I reached out to Felisha at Metro Housing when I was evicted and the first thing she said to me was, ‘Tawanda, when can you come see me’?”

The two met the next day and Felisha worked with Tawanda to apply for housing all over the city.

“We filled out application after application after application,” says Tawanda. “I found a place and on the same day that I was to drop off my credit report to my new management company, the city closed down because of the pandemic. I was very depressed.”

When Tawanda received a text message from Felisha that she would be able to move into her apartment, her reaction was less than happy. “I looked at the text and just said, ‘yea, whatever.’ I had been disappointed so many times that I wasn’t sure it was real.”

It was real.

“I was in a state of shock,” says Tawanda. “I was officially transitioning from being in a shelter to being back in my own apartment. I was trying my best not to cry, but the tears did come.”

Tawanda clearly knows she has a lot to be thankful for.

“I thank god for Metro Housing, Felisha and my case worker Angel because they gave me that extra push to do what I had to do. They have been my biggest supporters.”

[Tawanda currently spends her time creating decorative pillows and gift baskets, a skill she developed while participating in an entrepreneur program at Northeastern University and The Mom Project If you are interested in seeing more of Tawanda’s products, please reach out to Metro Housing at info@metrohousingboston.org.]

“I thank god for Metro Housing, Felisha and my case worker Angel because they gave me that extra push to do what I had to do. They have been my biggest supporters.”

– TAWANDA
Tawanda and Metro Housing Staff

SPECIALIZED INTENSIVE PROGRAMS & SERVICES (SIPS)

Specialized Intensive Programs & Services start with a comprehensive assessment of need and continue with supports that range from assistance with navigating service systems to gaining access to mental health, medical and/or substance use resources. It also incorporates practical hands-on help with daily living, as well as financial and legal advocacy. The intensive, personalized, and at-home focus is pivotal in engaging clients and stabilizing them in their homes and communities.