Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas everyone!


What a week we’ve had for CityWalk and our residents – we have much to celebrate this Christmas!

On Wednesday, Dec. 23, the same day that we received our “green tag” or temporary certificate of occupancy for CityWalk, we were able to tell one of our first residents, Joyce Bennett, that she could move into her new, fully furnished CityWalk apartment on Tuesday, Dec. 29.

Joyce was at our office when we told her she would be moving in next week. As soon as she heard the news, she immediately clamped her hand over her mouth in awe as tears began to well up in her eyes. “This is the first time I’ve ever been speechless!” she beamed.

As our staff began to exchange hugs with our new resident and each other, Joyce could barely contain her excitement. “You just don’t understand, you just don’t understand,” she kept saying before she was able to compose herself enough to begin telling her story.

Joyce currently lives with relatives, where she sleeps on the floor and has no personal belongings except for her clothing. She said that because she is homeless, she is treated much like an outsider in her family and is, at times, even excluded from family events. Through it all, she held on to her faith, which kept her going every day as she looked for permanent, affordable housing.

The turning point in her life came when Kevin Flagg, our community outreach assistant, called her for an interview to discuss her interest in becoming a resident at CityWalk. After going through the application process, Joyce was approved and is now preparing to move into her new apartment.

As you can see, this Christmas is extra special for our staff at Central Dallas CDC and our residents at CityWalk. The only thing missing from this story is Joyce’s photo (she’s extremely camera shy), but I hope I’ve painted a clear picture about how CityWalk is transforming lives and giving hope to the homeless.

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