Faces of Success: Ta’Kesha Taylor
Imagine moving into an apartment, but not having any household essentials, including beds, to furnish it. That was Ta’Kesha Taylor’s reality until two weeks ago.
“My kids haven’t slept in their own beds for a very long time,” said Taylor.
The Taylors are one of 75 Family Empowerment Program families to receive housing establishment kits containing mattresses, box springs, bed frames and bedding through a series of grants from the HCA Foundation and the Nashville Predators Foundation totaling $30,000. Mattress Firm also provided a generous discount on its product line to ensure program families have their sleeping needs addressed.
“I can see how excited and happy my children are to receive their new beds. Some people look for big things to find joy; for us, it’s the little things people do that mean everything.”
The Family Empowerment Program has played a critical role in helping this family move into stable housing. The program is operated in partnership by United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, Catholic Charities of Tennessee and Safe Haven Family Shelter in order to move families from homelessness into permanent, stable housing. This two-generational case management program helped Taylor set goals around finding stable housing for her family, as well as achieving financial stability.
“When I first came to Tennessee, I was homeless for over a year; I still worked every day to support my family. I remember cleaning buses in 90 degree temperatures. I never gave up because I couldn’t let my children down.”
Taylor’s case manager kept her focused on the goals she set for her family through the program. Case managers work with families for a period of up to 24 months to ensure they have the resources and tools needed to secure and maintain housing.
“Before the Family Empowerment Program, I never had anyone there to help me. My case manager has also made me aware of additional programs that have assisted my family. It means everything to know we have a home because we didn’t have one for a very long time.”
In 2015, the Family Empowerment Program served more than 170 families. Eighty-nine of them moved into permanent housing; seven additional families received assistance which prevented homelessness.
“I encourage others in similar situations to use this program to help them address their needs. The Family Empowerment Program is great, and I am thankful to these organizations for helping people like me.”
The Taylors are facing a much more comfortable reality, thanks to the Family Empowerment Program. Not only have they found a place to call home, they are resting a little easier at night in their new beds.
For more information about the Family Empowerment Program, please visit: https://www.unitedwaynashville.org/programs/family-empowerment-program