Jalisa was born and raised in Cleveland, and went to school for urban planning in Alabama. She moved back to Cleveland in 2015 to help her family, and started working at EDEN in October, 2016 as a Housing Locator for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.

Growing up, her father worked for FrontLine Service, a longstanding partner agency of EDEN’s, which provides case management, mental health services, and other supports to many of our clients. FrontLine is also on EDEN’s Housing First coalition partners, and is the service provider at all of the Permanent Supportive Housing buildings. Jalisa recalls meeting some of the homeless individuals that her father assisted while she was growing up. Through frequent activities such as volunteering at shelters during holidays, she was ingrained with a sense for the importance of serving the less fortunate.

When asked about the most challenging aspects of her job, Jalisa stated “When the clients are discouraged, when they feel they have hit rock bottom, or when they have given up hope at a better life.” 

When listing the most rewarding parts of her job, Jalisa smiled brightly and spoke about when the veterans she works with finally get housed, and when they have furniture being set up, and when they call to give her a simple ‘thank you’. “Many people take having a home for granted, without even realizing it”. Jalisa related that months after moving into their permanent homes, some clients still reach out to her to text her warm wishes on a holiday. “It really brightens up my day and makes me smile”.

EDEN is grateful to Jalisa—and all of her colleagues—who put the following key component of our vision into action:

“Developing, operating, and administering safe, decent, affordable housing which will enable the communities’ most vulnerable individuals and families to live with hope and dignity.”