Homeless to Housed: Tina’s Story

This morning, I received a lovely note from one of our staff members who has been with the Gateway Center for many years. This is the story of a young woman who experienced a transformation thanks to the dedication of our staff. I hope Tina’s story inspires you as much as it has inspired us here at GWC!

In the words of Ms. Gloria Brewer, Client Service Aid:
I ran into a former client on the westbound MARTA Train Tuesday night, March 17, 2015.  This young lady’s name is Tina and she was in the Women and Children’s Program on the main floor at Gateway several years ago before Gateway was converted into an all men’s residential center. This young lady was in her early 20’s at the time and was going through some hardship; struggling with her identity and the challenges that come with being a young adult.   She was unemployed, very opinionated, and frustrated about her living conditions. Tina was a very difficult and troubled young lady.  She was a person who didn’t like following the protocols that were required of the women who were seeking assistance from Gateway.

Mrs. Sandra Austell–a Client Service Aid who worked on the 1st floor in the Women and Children’s Program–befriended this young lady. Ms. Austell was able to get Tina to listen and respect those who were working so diligently on her behalf to help end her homelessness situation. After, counseling, and being mentored by Ms. Austell,  Tina began to change her disposition and her attitudes toward the staff in the Women and Children’s area. Thanks to Ms. Austell, Tina left Gateway with a new and  positive attitude toward life.

On March 17th when I ran into Tina on the Westbound train, I saw a new and improved beautiful looking young woman.  She looked so happy, energetic, and full of life–not at all like the young woman I had met several years ago in the Women and Children Center refusing to cooperate with staff.

Tina shared with me while on the train that she is now working for CDC. I was so impressed how beautiful and professional she looked! Tina told me to be sure that I tell Ms. Sandra Austell that she is doing well and is working for CDC. When I arrived to work that night, I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to tell Ms. Austell the exciting news regarding her success.

Ms. Beal, I share this story with you because this is one of the many stories that I hear everyday.  The wonderful work that the staff here at Gateway does everyday in helping to change the lives of those who are experiencing homelessness. Please continue to share the stories of the clients and please include the staff and their dedications in helping to end homelessness.

Thank you, Ms. Brewer, for sharing Tina’s story! And a huge thank you (now and always) to Sandra Austell and all of our amazing staff here at GWC who work so hard every day to change lives and end homelessness for each and every person who walks through our doors.

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