Jodee’s Journey: How Affordable Housing Changed Her Life

Apr 1, 2022

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Housing is catalytic. Without it, upward mobility is nearly impossible, but with it, people can start to experience real transformation. Just ask Jodee His Bad Horse, a 31-year-old mom who found herself homeless after fleeing an abusive relationship. When Jodee escaped, she landed in the Women’s Shelter—it was the only place she could go. She
eventually secured a place in Family Promise, a program that partners with local churches to house families while they get back on their feet. With the stress of housing temporarily off her plate, Jodee was freed up to find a job and learn skills like money management. Soon, Jodee was able to buy a car and began to look for long-term housing. She heard about Koinonia Management Company (KMC) at Family Promise. When Jodee met the KMC Property Manager, Miriam and Assistant Manager, Cindy, she immediately felt accepted saying, “There was no shame or judgment—just compassion.” In 2020, Jodee’s application was approved and she started the next chapter of her life in a KMC
rental unit with her children.

A NEW HOME a New Life

“Jodee has a teachable spirit and a wonderful attitude when it comes to learning new tasks that she’s unfamiliar with. She asks great questions especially about housing and tenant responsibilities. It’s been such a pleasure watching her learn and grow.”
– Miriam Stahl, KMC Property Manager

The house Jodee grew up in had busted walls, no carpet, and no doors on the kitchen cabinets. “We were poor, and drugs ran in my family. We just didn’t have a healthy lifestyle.” When they moved into their new KMC house, Jodee and her kids were introduced to an entirely new kind of environment they could call home. “The way the apartment looks—nice flooring and
carpet, clean nice bathroom, kitchen cabinets, finished walls…this is all new to me and my kids. It’s so nice and really different
from what we’ve known.” Stable housing has lifted Jodee out of a holding pattern of survival and into a life where she can now dream beyond her immediate needs and invest in her children. “I want my kids to experience the richness of my culture.” Jodee shares with pride. Jodee’s native name is Mutinhoowà, which means Water Island Woman (a name that goes back seven generations). Today, she often takes her kids to her hometown to “sweat” with her family because, despite the hardship, she is proud of her heritage. She’s eager to save for the future and hopes to eventually buy a home of her own. “Renting from Miriam and Cindy is one step closer to that. They gave me a second chance and I’m so grateful that they care about me and my family. Miriam and Cindy are so awesome. They taught me basic skills and how to care for a house, they are my sounding board when I need someone to talk to. I feel welcomed here and know my family is safe.”

Jodee celebrates 2 years with KMC March 25th.  2022 also marks 4 years of sobriety!   We are so proud of Jodee and the way her hard work is ending a cycle of poverty for her family. Unfortunately, she’s one of the few to rise above—Jodee’s history of struggle is shared by many in Billings. Each day in our community, hundreds of people who’ve experienced hardship like Jodee are seeking a safe place to live, and most of them are unsuccessful. At CLDI, we believe that providing quality, affordable housing has the potential to transform the lives of families in our community. This year, we have set a goal to provide 36 new units by the end of 2022.

Will you partner with us to make home a reality for even more people like Jodee?  Click here to donate.

Click here to read about our vision and plans for a new affordable housing unit called, Tapestry Apartments.


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