Six Months to Change

Big financial wins stem from dozens of “smaller” ones and Craig Lawson can attest to that.

Currently a resident of Virnita Court, during the first six months of 2019, Mr. Lawson went from unemployed to employed, from not having a savings account to having a savings and credit account and has stayed on the path to even more financial freedom ever since.

Michelle, Marquez and Mr. Lawson discuss how best to help him achieve his financial goals.

The first step Mr. Lawson made to seeing real change was completing an intake form to use Piedmont Housing Alliance’s housing counseling services in November 2018. At that time, he was searching for an apartment in a safer, more peaceful neighborhood than which he was in currently.

Mr. Lawson diligently shows up to appointments with his housing counselor.

Once his intake form was processed, he was assigned to Housing Counselor Michelle Tanner and they immediately got to work. As is often the case, Piedmont Housing was not the first or only resource Mr. Lawson used. Several organizations and people have helped him, including Marquez Mitchell, case manager with The National Counseling Group. Marquez worked with Craig on a daily basis and acted as a mentor for Craig. Michelle assisted Craig in completing a rental application for an opportunity to reside at one of Piedmont Housing Alliance’s properties. Shanika Vest on Piedmont Housing’s Community Management team worked with Craig to ensure that his rental application was complete and that his rental needs were completely heard and taken into account. While waiting to hear back regarding the status of his application, Craig continued to work with Michelle.

Within the fairly short time frame of six months he managed to begin working part-time, opened a savings and credit account, get approved for and move into an apartment and saw his savings begin to increase.

Mr. Lawson and Shanika talk as he visits the office for an appointment with Michelle.

“It has been very great renting with Piedmont Housing Alliance. They are the best property owners that I have had in a very long time!” Craig said.

Michelle and Craig continue to work together to ensure that he reaches his financial goals and that he maintains his housing. 

 “I am proud of him; he has had to overcome adversity in so many ways. I always tell him to reflect on the things you have already accomplished and to show more appreciation for himself,” Michelle said.