Odessa Moore is a single mom who found herself evicted from her North Carolina home four years ago with nowhere to go. She sought refuge at a local shelter, where she met other women with similar stories and obstacles to overcome. Eventually, she was introduced to Shelters to Shutters, an organization that CORT has partnered with to help transition individuals and families out of homelessness to economic self-sufficiency.
Shelters to Shutters works with apartment management companies to place homeless individuals in jobs and arrange discounted housing within the complex. Moore applied for the program, secured a job interview and was soon hired as a leasing agent.
“What I learned is that there’s a majority of homeless people that have been employed, who want to be employed and are capable, but simply fall on hard times for whatever reason,” Shelters to Shutters founder Christopher Finlay told CNN in a recent interview. “I was inspired and compelled to act. The apartment industry is always looking for great employees.”
According to a report from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than 350,000 people were staying in shelters and transitional housing on any given night last year, and nearly a third of homeless individuals were unsheltered.
Now an assistant manager at another apartment complex, Moore has her own place to call home and lives in a better school district for her kids.
“My kids got me a toy Wonder Woman. She stays with me all the time so that I can just remember who I am,” she said.
CORT is proud to support Shelters to Shutters’ mission to alleviate homelessness and encourages other businesses to get involved. To learn more about how you can make an impact on the issue of homelessness in local communities across the country, visit http://shelterstoshutters.org/.
See the full story about Odessa Moore’s journey with Shelters to Shutters on CNN’s Impact Your World.