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Single mom says city-provided housing helped her restart life

Mayor Turner told KHOU 11 that 25,000 people have been provided housing in the past decade to help end homelessness in Houston.

HOUSTON — The City of Houston has been nationally recognized for how it’s dealt with the homeless.

Mayor Sylvester Turner told KHOU 11 that the city has moved 25,000 people off the streets in the past decade by focusing on housing first.

“It’s been a journey, but it’s been a good one," said Tasha Amerson, a single mom whose life improved after she got some help. “When I walked into that apartment, I was just filled with joy."

Growing up, home didn’t have a whole lot of meaning to Amerson.

“I aged out of the system. I’ve been on my own since 19," she said.

A survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault, she made the brave decision to leave a toxic relationship and move to Texas.

“I had $50 in my pocket. I didn’t know where I was going to sleep, where I was going to go," she said.

At first, it meant leaving her three children behind.

“I wrote them each a letter saying how much I love them, how much I’m going to miss them, how much I’m going to think about them every day until they are back with me," Amerson said.

Eventually, the Houston Area Women’s Center helped her reunite with her kids. For five months, they lived at a shelter until an apartment became available in May 2020.

“When I walked into that apartment, I was just filled with joy," she said.

She sleeps on the couch to give her kids the three bedrooms in the apartment.

“They always tell me they love me and how strong I am and I just enjoy them," she said.

Doing what she can to give them something she never had: a home.

“Just believe in what you think is right, make a plan, stick to it, no matter if it takes years, stick to it," Amerson said.

She said right now she’s working as a driver for Lyft. Her next goal is to save up to buy a house of her own.

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