Tiara Beander, a single mother, entered Community of Hope’s Rapid Re-Housing program after enduring housing instability for several years. “We were living in a lot of different places – staying from house to house with family and friends,” shared Tiara. But, after the continued movement between houses with her two-year-old daughter, she knew she needed to find a way to be on her own. Tiara made intentional steps to change her family’s circumstances. A referral from the Virginia Williams Center connected Tiara to Community of Hope where she was assigned a supportive case manager. “My case manager has been a big help. She’s always sending me resources and new job opportunities.”
At the time, Tiara had been working at the post office, and her schedule often conflicted with the amount of time she was able to spend with her daughter. But, once Tiara had stable housing and Community of Hope backing her up, she started aggressively looking for new jobs with more flexibility. “I was working, but I was unhappy. I’d only see her when I’d take her to school in the morning. When I would come home from work, she would already be asleep. I never had time for her.” Those long days only further encouraged Tiara to look for other job opportunities. With her own determination and support from her case managers, she applied for the Metropolitan Police Academy and was accepted.
Today, Tiara is a Police Cadet and will soon transition to become an official MPD Police Officer. Amid all the national tension with officers right now, Tiara is hopeful she can contribute to positive impact and change in her new role. “I hope to be a part of the change. It’s a lot of good officers out there, but people overlook it.” Tiara is currently focused on finishing school to obtain her associates degree, continuing to be a positive example for her daughter, and remaining stably housed and self-sustained.
“It’s important to have organizations like Community of Hope in the community because a lot of people don’t have it like that. Even people with good jobs are struggling. But just to have a push and support is all people need sometimes.”