Behind Every Door is a series of success stories featuring our neighbors who have been served by the Virginia Beach CDC and the regional outreach of Southeastern Virginia Housing Corporation.
The Virginia Beach CDC impacts the lives of 1500 neighbors each year. Denise James is one of those neighbors.
When my car pulled up, Denise was waiting for me in her garden. She wanted me to see the plants she had cultivated over the 13 years she has lived in a VBCDC home. "I fell in love with this house," Denise told me. "I love the garden and I knew this would be the perfect home for my kids to grow up in."
Before she found VBCDC, Denise was released from a Florida prison. She had lost her kids, her home, and everything she owned. She moved to Virginia Beach where she ended up sleeping on the floor at a friend's house. It was then that she entered VBCDC's Transitional Housing Program.
"People think that if they give you a roof over your head, they change your whole life. That's not true!" insisted Denise. VBCDC gave her the support she needed to make a change. Denise was soon able to move to permanent housing. Denise's sons were able to live with her and the family stayed connected with VBCDC, attending neighborhood picnics and taking great care of their townhouse.
Denise's words of advice for others: "Keep pushing. Keep trying. And when you make it through, go back and pay it forward."
VBCDC's goal is to open more doors of opportunity to those needing affordable housing. We are looking for creative partnerships with other government, nonprofits, for profit businesses, private developers, citizens groups, educational institutions, etc. Let's have a conversation about changing lives.
Thank you for all that you do.
Gina R. Lucy
Gina is the Leader, Marketing & Community Relations and spends her days (and lots of evenings) telling the story of VBCDC to everyone in the community.