Public housing comes in many different shapes and sizes. Some families were born into it, some have circumstances that forced them into it, and then there are those that have lost their way. I once lost my way and few believed I would ever succeed.
In 1995, I graduated from Grant County High School and started working as a leasing consultant in Beechmont, Ohio, at the Fairways of Royal Oak. At the time, I was unsure of my future and my goals but I loved property management. I grew my experience and reputation and soon thereafter, I was offered a position as Resident Manager at Apply Valley Apartments.
The passion for property management grew inside me and I applied for a position with a larger company where I became the Property Manager at a tax-credit site. Having no experience in affordable housing, I quickly realized the challenge it offered and my desire to learn more. However, I had also started socializing with individuals who had no drive, goals or responsibilities and their behaviors started rubbing off on me.
One year later, I found myself unemployed and numbing myself with drugs. Pot, cocaine, and most of all meth, had taken control of me and my life. Despite a car accident which left me with broken vertebras in my back, a broken sternum, broken ribs, a shattered ankle, and pins in my knee, I continued to abuse drugs. Thankfully, I had a family who chose not to enable me but instead went above and beyond to make sure I got the help I needed. I ended up in jail, hopeless. I had abused drugs, neglected my daughter, hurt my family, and given up but God had not given up on me.
God had a plan and he had a plan for me. He continues to use my past to help others and has never ceased to amaze me. Its been almost 20 years and I have no record and have achieved goals and held positions I never thought possible. I have gone on to succeed despite the odds which were stacked against me. Eventually, I was hired as the Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Williamstown where I supervised the building of 23 tax credit units and later, went on to manage the Housing Authority of Dry Ridge where I am now employed full-time.
People will tell you, “you can’t!” They will tell you, “you won’t!” Life can knock you down but it doesn’t mean you have to stay down. Get up and FIGHT your way to success. You are strong! There’s always a ladder of opportunity waiting for you to climb up higher than before. Never give up!
Being a former addict, doesn't mean you cannot go on to be successful. Your circumstances don’t determine where you go, they only determine where you start!