Tonya Randall is a Baltimore City employee and two months away from receiving her master’s in Management Accounting. For the past two years, she and her two children have been living in Owings Mills with the help of a Housing Choice Voucher.
In 2004, Ms. Randall purchased a home in a wonderful neighborhood. However five years later, that once beautiful neighborhood began to change for the worst when the economy began to collapse. This was the start of a series of heartbreaking and life changing events in Randall’s life. Her son, Antonio, was tragically murdered. Shortly after her loss, Randall lost her job and fell behind on her mortgage. “Without God I don’t know how I would have managed,” Randall recalls of this devastating time.
Unable to refinance, she was forced to put her home on the market and quickly moved her family into a rental. She struggled to make ends meet; working seasonally as a tax preparer, saving up and stretching her funds for almost a year before receiving her Housing Choice Voucher.
In her housing search, Randall’s highest priority was the safety of her children, strong education and athletic programs and access to public transportation. Her family settled into a home in Owings Mills, where they remain today. Her son plays lacrosse and football, makes honor roll and wants to attend college for aerospace engineering. Her daughter just started a new job and will be headed to community college in the fall for nursing.
As for Tonya Randall, she is excited to continue her career in accounting with her new degree. Of the Housing Choice Voucher Program, she says, “There’s a stereotype that people aren’t trying to do anything for themselves. It’s a great program. It is that bridge for people until they’re ready to do things by themselves. Especially with the economy… people need that extra help.”
To learn more about the Housing Choice Program visit http://considertheperson.org/community/