How did you get connected to Living Room?
I was faced with an unexpected decrease in my household income. In an instant my income wasn’t enough to cover my rent. I was filled with uncertainty about where I could relocate to. Especially since my current apartment was considered affordable compared to the average cost of living in Atlanta. As I witness the plight of homeless people in Atlanta, I thought I would to be without a home, soon.
In a state of hope and despair I looked though my collection of files, Atlanta Area Outreach Initiative resource book and searched online for housing resources. As I continued to gather information on organizations that provide housing, it seemed like all roads lead to Living Room.
I went to Living Room in April of 2016. After my first visit with Living Room, I felt relieved! Living Room showed me housing options within my budget and lifestyle. A huge stress was lifted off of me and my family because we were going to get the assistance we needed.
What wisdom do you have to share with someone who just learned they’re HIV+?
Continuously gather information about HIV. Create you own library of information that include education, resources, organizations and contact persons because, you or someone you know may need to rely on supportive services at a particular time. When you’re living with this chronic condition, there may be a time when you will need information to get though difficult times. What I found interesting about gathering information is that the more I learned about the virus, the less fear I had about sharing my status with others.
What wisdom do you have to share to people who are not HIV+?
“Be kind. Everyone goes through something. You never fully know what a person is going through at any given moment.”
What gives you hope?
What gives me hope is the visioning a world where people living with HIV can live healthy and dignified lives. I know in order to achieve this vision it will take people like me, who are involved in all levels of advocacy. The sweat equity I put in everyday gives me hope that the future will result in positive changes that will improve the lives and uphold the rights of people living with HIV.
Why is Living Room important?
Living Room is important because they are able to match people to the kind of housing they need. Living Room matched me with Jerusalem House which is a great fit for me and my family. My permanent and affordable housing assisted in propelling me to focus on creating keepsake memories with my children and adding creativity into my passion of advocacy.
Knowing what you do now, what wisdom would give the Shyronn of three years ago?
Know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. Don’t be alarmed about your household size and income decreasing. Don’t be frustrated that you will not be moving back into homeownership within the next three years. Keep in mind that God takes care of his orphan children and those who live according to his purpose.
What have I missed? Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to emphasize that the services Living Room provides are incredibly crucial. Throughout my advocacy, out of all the requests I get from people, housing is the need I hear about most often.
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