Angie was homeless and addicted to drugs. She attempted suicide two times. Then, in 2007 she entered drug treatment. Angie completed the program and left transitional housing to come to Urban Housing Solutions for the Journeys of Hope program where former substance abusers live in a community so they can support each other.
Journeys of Hope enabled Angie to stay clean for two years which made her eligible to gain employment. She worked 32 hours a week at a drug treatment facility as night monitor. Working at night allowed her to study as she was pursuing an associate degree in pre-nursing at Nashville State College. She graduated with a 3.7 GPA and went on for a Bachelor’s Degree of Nursing at Tennessee State University. The first year she was able to attend school full-time and did not have to pay rent to UHS. When she had to return to work, her grades plummeted and she discontinued school. This was devastating, but her drug treatment program taught her to survive and keep moving forward.
Angie has been clean for ten years and now works full-time as a clinical administrative assistant at an addiction recovery center and wants to become a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) so she can encourage others who are going through addiction treatment. She wants to buy a house across the street from her 91-year-old granny, because granny was the only person who didn’t turn away from Angie while she was going through the horrors of drug addiction. However, Angie has to pay off her student loans and her car before she can take out a mortgage loan. What is already a success story about an addicted homeless person obtaining housing, a college degree and a full-time job helping others who struggle with addiction, has the ability to become a great success story if she could fulfill her dream of buying her own home. She has come so far and just needs a small break from a financial institution to make that happen!
Tammy was abandoned as a baby. She was tossed around to various homes until she was 12-years-old; never feeling loved or worthwhile. At 13 she left what was called home. Being so young and needing a place to live, she entered into one co-dependent relationship after another, where she was abused and held hostage for 20 years.
Tammy started drinking to numb the pain and in her 30’s started using cocaine. During the 10-year addiction she was arrested too many times to recall; but was never offered help for her addiction. When she was charged with a felony for selling cocaine she was incarcerated for 90 days. She begged for help. Finally, her public defender got her connected with the Next Door drug rehabilitation program. And that changed her life. Tammy just needed someone to believe in her.
She spent eight months in treatment. From there she came to Urban Housing Solutions and entered the Journeys of Hope program. As Tammy mentioned, when you are coming clean from an addiction you need support and an addiction-free community – that is what Journeys of Hope provides. Tammy said other employees at UHS also supported her along the way, for which she is extremely grateful!
Having stable housing enabled Tammy to enter college several years ago to pursue a degree in social work. In May 2017 she received her bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University and graduated with the top GPA in her class! This honor will allow her to continue her education at the master’s level.
Tammy is currently working part-time at the Next Door as a workforce development specialist; helping other women connect with companies that will give them a chance, develop resumes for employment, and establish SMART goals for their lives. Tammy said she wants to work in a place where she can give other recovering addicts the help they need to start a new life.
-Libby, Nashville, TN
“I count my blessings every day that I found Urban Housing Solutions.”
-Stephen, Nashville, TN
“This place is a stepping stone, and I’ve been stepping up.”
David has lived on the street most of his life – never having a place to call his own. He was staying at a rescue mission in Alabama when someone suggested he try Nashville. A friend gave him money for a Greyhound Bus ticket and David arrived at the Nashville bus depot with nothing but the clothes he was wearing. Four months later David was still down-and-out; spending nights at the Nashville Rescue Mission. He heard about Urban Housing Solutions and was skeptical at first, but visited the office and met some “beautiful people at UHS” who helped him fill out paperwork and obtain an apartment. David loves his apartment and said that his health issues have “gone out the window since he has a home!”