Moving Out, Moving Up
Four years ago Victoria McCoy fled an abusive relationship in southeast Chicago and drove straight to Fort Worth with her teenage daughter.
A friend from her Chicago ministry group had moved to Fort Worth and “would always say, ‘Come on down, the door is always open,’” Victoria recalls.
Victoria stayed with her friend until finding an apartment that would accept the Housing Choice Voucher she had ported from Chicago. Earlier she’d set a goal to be off the voucher program in five years. “I made a vow to myself that it was going to be a stepping stone and I was going to get myself together.”
About a year ago Victoria landed a job with a salary high enough that it disqualified her for the voucher program. “I was finally able to get focused and stable and actually invest into the tools that was needed for myself in order to elevate mentally, emotionally, physically,” Victoria recalls. “And once I began to buckle down and recommit I was able to succeed.”
Fort Worth Housing Solutions gives voucher participants like Victoria a safety next of six months to phase out of the voucher program when their higher incomes disqualify them. In November, she was “officially emancipated from the program,” she said.
“I had to internalize that the thing was real,” she continued. “I had to step out of my comfort zone and apply for an apartment, a luxury home, where they don’t accept the housing vouchers. Doing that was fearful but I was like, why not set myself up for progress?”
Today, Victoria works full-time for Fan Touch Solutions and drives for Lyft on the side. Eventually she would like to develop the skills to become a stock trader and leave Lyft behind.
“I have a desire to be an entrepreneur where I can create that sense of liberation, and where I can also put myself in a place where I can leave a legacy for my children.” (Victoria is seeking custody for her two youngest children, who are in Chicago.) “That’s why I’m going so hard. That’s one reason why I’m focused the way I am, so that I can bring my last two children home.”