Tangie_kitchen_reducedTangie moved into her one bedroom CASA apartment last Friday.  When she got the call from CASA that she had been accepted and could move in, “I dropped the phone!” she laughs.  “I couldn’t believe it was real, finally.  After four years, I got my own place.”

Tangie found herself on the streets when a relationship ended.  She developed health problems around the same time and was told by her doctor she couldn’t work.  Tangie describes staying at different shelters when she could get in, or sleeping outside downtown with a small group of women.  “I was out there many cold nights,” she remembers.  “The majority of my time was spent outside.  I never thought that would happen to me.”

Eventually, she was accepted into the Raleigh Rescue Mission’s program for women and moved into transitional housing.  She worked with her case manager to get a housing voucher and disability income.

“I was looking every day for an apartment,” she remembers.  She had a Housing Choice voucher, but couldn’t find a landlord who would take it.  “I just want to be able to get on my feet, and be on my own,” she says. “Here, I don’t have to worry about being homeless, because this is something I can afford.”

“I’m still pinching myself,” she grins, as she looks around her apartment.  “Just being able to turn the key – it’s serenity, hope, and peace of mind.  It’s stability.  It just feels like a dream come true.”  Tangie is especially excited to cook her own food and to decorate the apartment in her own style.  “In the transitional program,” she remembers, “I used to say ‘I’m going back to the house now’….but now, I say, ‘I’m going home.’  This place I can finally call home.”

The years of homelessness were really difficult for Tangie.  “I had lost all hope, and just had a sense of being worthless.”  She thinks about the women she stayed with during that time and wants to tell them, “Hold on, be strong!  It was bad some nights, but I want to tell people you can make it.  I did – I’m a living testimony.”

Tangie is visiting The Green Chair for assistance with furnishing her apartment, but she’s most excited about getting an easel, because she loves to paint and draw.  She lives on the bus line and can get anywhere quickly – especially doctors and shopping.  She wants to get some plants for just outside her door and a patio chair, so she can enjoy the coming spring.  “I’m just thankful for getting this far,” she says.  “This is like heaven.”

Welcome home, Tangie!