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Philanthropy Thought Leadership

United Way program helps woman gain stability after years living in motels

Regional Commission on Homelessness and United Way are working to end homelessness and change lives in Greater Atlanta

Nyyokokie worked hard to develop her own construction business, provide for her family and take care of her aging parents. 

But a series of events led to Nyyokokie losing her home and being forced to live from week-to-week inside of a motel. She says by “keeping [her] faith and trust in God,” and turning to a United Way of Greater Atlanta program for help, she was able to find a stable home. 

Nyyokokie is an Atlanta native, born to a couple of hard-working parents who gave her those same values. She also had an older brother who died tragically when she was in the seventh grade after he was a victim of a robbery. She says this had a huge impact on her family. 

She graduated from high school and then went to Atlanta Technical College for HVAC/construction, and after that she was able to start her own construction business, which had become successful and allowed her to provide for her family and four children. 

But in 2010, Nyyokokie’s mother became ill and had broken her hip. Nyyokokie moved her mother in to her house and focused so much of her time and energy into caring for her mother and raising children of her own. 

In 2014, Nyyokokie’s mother died and then her home was foreclosed. The next four years were a struggle for her to both find a house to rent and jobs to pay her bills. She was unable to afford rent, and she was feeling overwhelmed. 

She lost her rental home, moved in with a couple of friends and eventually she moved into a hotel with her youngest son. She says she was there for two years before contacting Frontline Housing Inc., where she was able to enroll in the Motel-to-Home program through United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Regional Commission on Homelessness.

The Regional Commission on Homelessness and United Way are working to end homelessness and change lives in Greater Atlanta. Motel-to-Home is a three-step process of outreach, housing and aftercare. Housing location specialists work to identify the barriers each family faces and then match them with affordable housing. 

Once a family is able to pay their own rent or mortgage without assistance, the family is eligible for ongoing aftercare services, which include financial literacy training, workshops and incentive-based programs. 

With the help of Frontline, Nyyokokie moved into an apartment and joined a community building program at the complex. 

She says her life now is “full of grace and blessed.” She’s looking forward to starting her construction business again now that she has some stability. 

She wants to use her experience to tell others who may find themselves in times of struggle “to keep their faith and trust in God.” 

Will you unite with us to do more for families in Greater Atlanta—families like Nyyokokie’s? When we unite, we can change lives. Let’s do more, together. 


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