Finding Stability at Congress Street

Finding Stability at Congress Street

Permanent housing means a brighter future

Cory Tedford felt like she had received an early Christmas present in December of 2020. That’s when she and fiancé Josh, and Cory’s service dog Leia, were able to move in to a motel room at Harbor Place in Shelburne.

“It was life changing. Just to be able to live in a hotel room. Which really just shows how hard it was before then.”

At that point the couple had been experiencing homelessness for four years. The tight rental housing market and the long waitlists for supportive housing, meant they spent their nights looking for rooms to rent or places to park a camper. They had no choice.

“Most landlords wouldn’t even look at us.”

Both Cory and Josh are in recovery. The stress of trying to find stable housing while focusing on their sobriety was immense. Making things even more challenging was their delicate financial situation. Things begin to change when they reached Harbor Place.

Cory was able to work with CHT Service Coordinator Josh Headrick to put together her application for more permanent housing. With his help, Cory and her fiancé were able to navigate through the obstacles to housing that they faced.

“It is really hard to find people who won’t judge you. Josh didn’t look at any of that.”

The good news arrived in early February. An apartment had opened up at the just completed Congress Street apartments in the heart of St. Albans. For Cory and her fiancé, both St. Albans natives, it was an incredible moment.

“I was jumping up and down. Crying. We’re going to be given a chance in this beautiful brand new apartment!”

Living at Congress Street, or “the brand new building in St. Albans” as the couple called it when they moved in, has brought a new level of stability to Cory’s life. With permanently affordable housing, the couple no longer have to worry about bouncing around, wondering where they will spend the night. It’s made her recovery easier. She’s now been clean for over three years.

It’s also allowed her to focus on things she enjoys. Like cooking.

“For the longest time I was cooking on hot plate. Now I have this brand new kitchen and dishwasher. I really love making comfort food. Homemade mac and cheese, chicken fried steak, but I am excited to make more fancy meals now that I can.”

Cory is able to look forward with a lot more optimism now. She is working toward a new goal of becoming a homeowner, something that never seemed possible before. She is also excited about being someone who is in a position to help others.

“It has really made me want to be helpful with others in my situation. Right now with the pandemic and housing crisis, it is just really hard out there.”