Tabitha recently celebrated her four year anniversary at EDEN. She is the Lead Scattered-Site Property Manager, and the Supervisor of Scattered-Sites. Tabitha currently has a caseload of 152 clients that are living in 45 properties.
Tabitha graduated with a degree in Social Work from the University of Akron, and is a licensed social worker. Prior to joining EDEN, she worked for other social service agencies and also in property management.
Tabitha shared that the most challenging part of her job is not always being able to give clients everything they desire, and that she has to remember that she is property manager, in her current role, rather than a social worker. She also shared that there is a high need for more family living, and sometimes, there are not enough units available when they are needed.
When asked what she finds the most rewarding part of her work Tabitha quickly affirmed, “The tenants! Interacting with the clients, and giving a person or family the keys to a safe place to live.”
When we asked Tabitha what advice she would have for someone experiencing housing insecurity or homelessness, she stated, "Stay positive, and keep working with your case manager".
EDEN so appreciates Tabitha-and all our staff-for their commitment to our mission, which is: " to provide housing solutions to people facing the challenges of housing insecurities and homelessness".
If you are a landlord and interested in working with EDEN, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michele has been serving on EDEN’s board of directors since 2015. Her friend and neighbor previously served on the agency’s board, and suggested she take his place when he stepped down. Because EDEN is a Community Housing Development Organization, (CHDO), and receives certain HUD funding, we are required to have representation on the board, (at least 1/3), from residents in low-income areas. Michele’s neighborhood falls within these guidelines and she states “I applaud and appreciate the organization having board members that live in low income areas”.
Michele grew up near the Zoo and lived in Slavic Village for a short while after marriage. She and her husband moved to the Detroit-Shoreway Neighborhood twenty years ago so their children could attend Urban Community School. She graduated from Cleveland State University with a degree in Social Service and Community Organizing. After starting a family she worked in schools, as a teacher’s aide and preschool teacher so she could have the same schedule as her children.
Before joining EDEN’s board, Michele served on committees for the Commission for Catholic Community Action, and the Campaign for Human Development. She was also a long-time volunteer at the West Side Ecumenical Ministries Food Center.
Michele said she decided to join the EDEN board because she wanted to “help solve housing and stability issues for my neighbors and the people of this city and county.”
When asked what Michele learned new about EDEN after joining the board, Michele related “the most interesting thing is the tremendous number of partnerships and relationships that EDEN has in the community…organizations, individuals, landlords and staff who are all working to break down barriers to housing.”
Helping others is woven into the fabric of Michele’s family. Her son is a Cleveland EMS paramedic and her daughter works for a youth homeless agency in Seattle. Michele credits her mother’s generosity, sharing that she was someone who always welcomed neighbors and friends over and said “the more the merrier!”
When asked what advice Michele would have for anyone who might be interested in joining EDEN’s board, she affirmed, “The cause of helping people find dignity by finding a place to call home is a rewarding one, a noble one, and most of all the right thing to do…everyone needs and deserves a place to call home.”
EDEN appreciates Michele, and all our board members, for their dedication to our mission, which is: "to provide housing solutions to people facing the challenges of housing insecurities and homelessness."
Anne grew up in Avon Lake Ohio, but ventured West after high school. She obtained her BA in Psychology from Bradley University in Illinois and a Graduate degree in Women’s Studies from the University of Madison in Wisconsin. After Grad School, Anne returned to Northeast Ohio and wanted to help vulnerable and marginalized communities. She has been part of the EDEN family for two and a half years as a housing locator, working with families. She works with families that are in shelters to assist them in securing safe and affordable housing so they can leave homelessness. Anne stated the biggest challenges are finding units that are large enough for some families, and also unit inspections.
Anne, like all EDEN housing locators, is an HQS certified inspector and looks at units prior to families moving in. She is looking for units that are child-friendly among other safety guidelines. When asked about the biggest reward of her work, Anne stated “Helping people get out of a shelter, and helping families getting their feet in the door of a new home.” When we asked Anne what advice she might have for families facing homelessness, she said “Don’t give up hope! There are people out there that are understanding and want to help.”
This month Anne is transitioning into a new role at EDEN as a community housing agent. In this new role she will recruit, educate and develop relationships with landlords to work with EDEN clients that receive housing assistance.
We appreciate Anne’s commitment to EDEN’s vision of administering safe, decent, affordable housing, which will enable our community’s most vulnerable individuals and families to live with hope and dignity!
Following an eviction in 2013, Tanisha and her daughter, who was then less than two years old, found themselves homeless. She recalls sleeping on floors with her baby girl, and not knowing where to turn. Tanisha heard of the social services agency, Murtis Taylor, and went seeking guidance and was matched with a case manager. She remained homeless, but never gave up hope, and was approved for housing through EDEN in April 2014. Tanisha loved the 2 bedroom she and her daughter moved into, and things were looking up. She was working, enrolled to finish her GED, and her daughter now had a comfortable bed and was attending a daycare in a loving environment.
In 2015, Tanisha received a distressing phone call. Her sister’s children would be placed in foster care if no family member could care for them. Tanisha felt it was her duty to take in her nieces and nephews. She quickly went from caring for one child, to five. Tanisha notified EDEN’s Lead Scattered Site Property Manager about her situation. “I love Tabitha, she is such a sweetheart!”, Tanisha recalled, when telling us about that phone call. Tanisha’s two bedroom no longer felt so big, and she was put on a waiting list for a larger unit.
When asked what advice she would give to others facing homelessness, Tanisha said “Don’t give up…Everyone has a story to tell, don’t shut yourself down, open up, swallow your pride and ask for help.”
Just this week, Tanisha received the keys to a larger rental property that will provide adequate room for her and the children, including a yard for them to safely play. Tabitha tells us Tanisha and the kids ran around their new home, squealing with joy and hugging her. “That’s the best part of my job,” said Tabitha.
EDEN is happy to be able to help Tanisha be the mother, aunt, and guardian she works so hard to be. We wish her continued success, and hope the kids have a wonderful new school year—with lots of room to spread out their books and do their homework!