The possibility of becoming homeless was never on Renee W.’s radar. In fact, as a long-time foster parent, she was used to helping others who needed a home. But after her chronic back pain became debilitating and she went through a traumatic divorce, Renee found herself without a home while in her mid-50s.
“There were times when I didn’t have any money, didn’t have a car, didn’t have a job,” she said. “I didn’t want to ask for help but I had to or I would have been on the streets.”
Through a housing program that CaringWorks eventually took over, Renee secured an apartment in 2011 in Clayton County. After CaringWorks took over the program, Renee also received transformational support through her program manager, Ailene Gordon.
“She called me, she came by. I wasn’t being consistent in going to see my psychiatrist, and she helped me get consistent. She stuck by me.”
Having a stable place to live along with additional support is what Renee needed to get her life back on track.
“Because of where I was, my mind was all over the place,” she said. “I had a place where I could get my thoughts together. I could heal.”
Renee also faced her fears and proved that it’s never too late to follow your goals. She enrolled in some college courses.
“I wanted to go back to school, but I was afraid. I was 58 when I went back to school.”
After receiving support from CaringWorks for several years, Renee is in a position where she’s ready to leave the program. She will soon be moving into a new home in Newnan, Georgia.
“I’m looking forward to moving in. It’s going to be a fresh start for me.”
Renee gives much of the credit for her progress to her program manager.
“Ms. Gordon has supported, encouraged and directed me to my next destination. Actually, for me, she went above and beyond and that is the truth.”
Renee has a special name for CaringWorks and those who have helped her throughout her journey.
“I call them destiny helpers; people who have helped me from step to step to step.”
Built on the single idea that all people—no matter their social or economic standing—should have a chance to improve their quality of life, CaringWorks has served thousands of clients throughout our 20-plus-year history. Since our inception, we have grown exponentially to become one of Georgia’s leaders in providing permanent supportive housing. We serve hundreds of individuals each year through unique programs and services that are specifically tailored to the needs of those facing chronic homelessness.
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