05/30/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Ameenah Joiner Gets Family Back On Their Feet Thanks To Supportive Housing

Fleeing domestic violence in Chicago, Ameenah Joiner and her two young children relocated to Milwaukee in hopes of finding a better life. The family had been living in a transitional shelter run by the United Methodist Children's Services until December, when a brand new supportive housing apartment building opened up next door.

The four-story Washington Park Apartments development was financed through tax credits, county and city housing dollars, foundations and private donations. It was designed to provide a stable and a supportive environment to help single mothers get their lives on track.

Joiner remembers excitedly the moment she received keys to a three-bedroom apartment in the building:

"December 22 at 4 p.m. I got the keys," she says, smiling. "It was awesome. It's something new -- a place where I can start fresh, literally. It's amazing."

Residents of the Washington Park Apartments can use Section 8 federal housing vouchers to pay for a portion of their rent. Joiner has been working with on-site social workers, who are helping her reach her educational and career goals, so she can become self-sufficient. Joiner is close to completing her GED and hopes to peruse a career as a police officer. In the meantime, she works as the family resource coordinator at United Methodist Children's Services, helping to run the organization's food pantry.