Takisha Jordan uses her own lived experiences with homelessness to connect with families in our housing programs and help them make progress on their goals.
Takisha Jordan recognized the value and power of shared experiences while she was working as a receptionist and program assistant at The Road Home. Sitting at the front desk, Takisha was the first point of contact for many families served by The Road Home, who often arrived in crisis. Takisha found that these families continued to seek her out. “They came to me for help because I looked like them, because they knew of my past involvement in advocacy, and because they knew of my previous personal struggles with homelessness. They wanted to know how I overcame those barriers so that they could overcome their similar barriers,” Takisha said.
When Takisha came across a policy paper titled, “Peer Support: A Tool for Recovery in Homeless Services,” the idea of a peer support position at The Road Home began to take shape. Takisha did more research and presented it to the Homeless Service Consortium Board of Directors. The Road Home piloted the program at Tree Lane Apartments and, impressed with the results, decided to create a position titled Peer Support Specialist this past September.
In her position as Peer Support Specialist, Takisha uses her lived experience to develop a supportive relationship with families in The Road Home’s housing programs. She works in conjunction with case managers at The Breese and Housing & Hope to identify goals that she can help families work toward. For example, Takisha has started working with a mother who recently got a new job. Although the mother is excited about the new job, she dreads the five-hour roundtrip travel time on public transportation. She is anxious to work with Takisha to get a previous driving charge cleared from her record and to purchase a vehicle so that she will be able to get to work more efficiently and have more time to spend with her children. We are excited about this new position and feel like it has significant potential to help our families be successful with their housing and other goals.