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After two months of living in a shelter while working two jobs, Kenita couldn't take it anymore. "I was at the end of my rope," she said.
The very next morning after leaving the shelter, Kenita received a call saying she was accepted to a PPL apartment. After signing the paperwork, Kenita was handed her keys. Although the feeling was joyful, the challenges and changes of moving were still on her mind.
Thinking back, Kenita recalls the first couple months in her apartment, “Even though the apartment was gorgeous and I loved it, it was still a slow process to get settled. It was a big change. I kept telling myself that I could do this, I got this.”
Kenita’s perseverance and strength got her through the change, and the apartment eventually became home for Kenita and her daughters. “I love my whole apartment, but I guess the washer and dryer, and AC especially in the summers, are my favorite,” said Kenita with a big smile on her face.
“After getting settled, I wanted to start volunteering in my building. I just try to make people smile and help people. I think that helps me too.”
Kenita was first inspired to buy hats and mittens for kids waiting at the bus stop. From there she would volunteer to walk kids to the bus and throw birthday parties in the building’s community room where she would make a big platter of food and staff helped her purchased a cake to share.
“I think the kids look up to me and that inspires me because they are also bettering the world. They see how passionate I am and how happy I get, and they like to help out,” said Kenita. “Now you see little kids helping out everywhere.”
In 2017, Kenita was the recipient of a PPL Achievement Award, a recognition of her hard work and perseverance in her personal accomplishments and leadership in the community.
“I always tell my kids, regardless of my mistakes, my heart is still in a good place. I took a lot of classes from PPL to help me with that. Those classes helped change my attitude on life. It’s been a journey, a long journey, but it’s been good. I couldn’t ask for anywhere better to be right now.”
Kenita's story of perseverance and kindness is one example featured in PPL's 2018 Annual Report. This year's report looks into the meaning behind our name; the mission it established nearly 50 years ago and the work it continues to drive today, like the housing and resident services programs Kenita and her family participate in.
Nearly 13,000 people received transformative housing and career training services in 2018. In our Annual Report, you'll see the many ways your support, gifts, and time helped create more vibrant and equitable communities. Your belief in this work is helping create lives free from homelessness and unemployment, where families are stabilized, kids are reading better, folks are getting decent jobs, and students are graduating high school.