As a child, Jody and her family moved from one family shelter to another.

“Six months ago I wasn’t registered in school, six months ago I was emotionally troubled, six months ago I had no stability … Now, I wake up at 6:00 AM to be on the construction job site at 7:00 AM and I work my butt off all day and I couldn’t be happier.”

Jody’s big smile brightens the whole room as she explains how living and learning at Eva’s Phoenix for the last six month has transformed her life.

Jody’s family faced deep poverty and she grew up moving from one family shelter to another. As she puts it: “It’s hard to imagine enrolling in school or getting a job or any of those long-term plans when you don’t know where you are going to sleep next.”

As impossible as it seemed, Jody was determined to find a better future. Her first step was to apply for transitional housing at Eva’s Phoenix where, for the first time, she had a room of her own with a key. She was warmly welcomed by staff who were really there for her. They worked with her one-on-one to help her heal from past trauma and envision and start to achieve her goals.

Jody, much like other Eva’s residents, eagerly participated in the Independent Living Program to gain skills she never had the chance to learn in a chaotic childhood. She enrolled in the Construction and Building Maintenance Training Program and, to her surprise, she fell in love with the trades and carpentry. She did so well that, upon completion, a big construction company hired her permanently!

Eva’s helped Jody’s determination and resilience flourish. “I’ve lived most of my life watching society happen and function, wishing that I could be a part of it,” she says. “And now I feel like I am a part of it!”

With a great job, solid life skills, and a renewed sense of hope, belonging, and self-worth, Jody’s dream now is to own property so that nobody will be able to pull the rug from under her feet again.

16 AND 24

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