GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WUSA9) - Since moving to a fully-furnished apartment nearly two years ago, Wede Gbadyu has vastly improved her life. The 26-year-old mother remembers her children's happy reaction after leaving a homeless shelter.
"They couldn't believe it...they finally had somewhere to call
home," she said of her children, Richard, Princess and Harmony. The school-aged youngsters enjoy playing soccer in the backyard.
Gbadyu lives in the apartment through a transitional housing program through Dwelling Place. The non-profit organization pays part of the rent for the clients. Meanwhile, the organization supports clients on a pathway to financial independence. Dwelling Place funds the educational and career training for its participants.
"We have everybody focused on training and education and trying to get a place, where they advance in a career and not a job, so they're not just making mininum wage," said Miriam Gandell, the executive director.
"I'm happy and I'm proud of myself. I want to keep going," said Gbadyu who is earning her certification in medical assistance.
Gbadyu's positive changes came after she made a commitement to change her attitude. During her time at the homeless shelter, she admits she did not always have a postive outlook on life.
"At first I was not happy with it. I was really rude to them, I didn't like it, because it was so many rules," she reflected on her time at the shelter. With the help of her case manager, Debbie Werner, Gbadyu turned her attitude around.
"When you're sitting in a shelter, it's probably pretty hard to be positive, but you need to take a look at your kids...think what can I do for my kids," said Werner.
Gbadyu said she became determined to be a positive role model for her children. Through her efforts, she was accepted into the transitional housing program.
"As I started moving forward in my life I started to ask, 'What do you want to do Wede? How could you do it? Cause you do have kids and I am a single mother so. They look up to me, so I have to be positive for them and be positive for myself.'"
NOTE: Gannett Foundation provided a grant to Dwelling Place.
Produced by: Elizabeth Jia
WUSA9 & WUSA9.com