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“Inspire Atlanta | Family of 9 gets housing help while daughter waits for a kidney,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By September 13, 2023March 4th, 2024Current News Features

Ebon SledgeOpen Doors client Ebon Sledge was featured in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution Inspire Atlanta story. Sledge and her eight children had been living in a Griffin motel since being evicted from their apartment after she fell behind in paying the rent due to mounting medical expenses associated with care for her 10-year-old daughter, J’Adore, who is awaiting a kidney transplant.

They were in the motel for just over a year while Sledge juggled two part-time jobs and took her daughter an hour and a half away for dialysis three times a week. With an eviction on her record, it was difficult to pass a credit check in order to move out of the motel and into permanent housing, even though she was bringing in enough money to pay the rent.

The family of nine recently moved into a 5-bedroom, 3-bath rental home with the help of Open Doors, a nonprofit that helps people overcome barriers to affordable housing. The nonprofit operates as an intermediary, bridging organizations trying to transition people out of homelessness and housing insecurity to apartment managers with vacant units willing to accommodate issues like low credit and other barriers to getting approved for a lease. Open Doors will continue to provide support to ensure that the Sledge family remains stably housed.

Executive Director Matt Hurd explained that families facing housing insecurity “might be living doubled up at a friend or family member’s home or living month to month, and any increase in expense or any change in their income means they’re going to find themselves homeless.”

“It’s a story we’ve heard many times before where expense such as a medical expense, or a car breaks down, or a child gets sick, that there’s something that pushes a family that’s living so close to the edge already, and pushes them over the edge,” said Development Director Kim Wolfe.

“One of the things that we’re happy about at Open Doors is that housing is one less thing on Ms. Sledge’s to-do list, one less thing to worry about,” Open Doors Program Coordinator Cherie DeBose said. “With that taken care of, she can focus on her daughter and what she needs as well as the other children and getting them what they need.”

To see the full article, visit the Atlanta Journal-Constitution webpage here.