The Talent Pool

Feb 10, 2017

by David Levine, President/CEO

In last week’s update, I wrote about the painter Lee Jaworek. GSH helped Lee locate affordable housing in our area. Lee is participating in an exhibition of Virginia-based artists at the General Assembly building in Richmond.  
 
Seeing his painting made me think of other residents who are also artists or musicians.  One came to mind.  

A US Army veteran, the mother of two school-aged daughters, Janine moved into one of our housing units several years ago.  Living in upstate New York in an apartment with poor lighting and a shared community bathroom, Janine also needed better care and treatment for one of her daughters who suffers from a chronic respiratory illness. 

Janine wanted to move closer to the new community hospital at Fort Belvoir, which she could access as a veteran for the care needed for her youngest daughter.  But she also needed affordable housing in the area.  Although working part-time jobs as a computer technician and security guard, her earnings were not high enough to qualify for most housing units in the area.
Not least of all, too, her daughter’s medical care had derailed her credit, too.

Her solution?  Janine found GSH.  As a landlord willing to be flexible and help her become more self-sufficient, GSH provided the family with an affordable housing unit in one of our communities off Richmond Highway.  

Her youngest daughter received high-quality medical care and is now training in high school to become a licensed nurse.  Her oldest daughter will be graduating this year from high school, has enlisted in the US Army (like her mother), and will be posted to work as a technician at the National-Geospatial Intelligence Agency in Springfield.  The Army will also be paying for her to attend a local college while working there.

Janine and her family have overcome many, many challenges.  They are succeeding in our housing and have moved closer to self-sufficiency and financial independence.

Her place in life now must seem very different from where she started — as a singer backing up Alicia Keys on her recordings and performing at the Apollo Theater in New York City. 

Quite a different place, indeed.