Building Dreams with One Resident in Tidewater Gardens

As relocation begins in the Tidewater Gardens community, Tionna’s dreams of owning her own daycare are brought to reality with the guidance of the People First Empowered by USI team.

Getting Support for Relocation

When the announcement of the Tidewater Gardens redevelopment was made, Tionna was a bit intimidated.

After all, she lived there for five years with three kids and no family nearby to support her. What would it be like to move everyone?

“I thought it was going to be hard because it’s just me who lives down here, like none of my family, blood relatives are down here. People First Empowered by USI contacted me and said they were going to help me through the process.” – Tionna, Tidewater Gardens Resident

Next Step: Entrepreneurship

People First Empowered by USI connected Tionna to individualized family support services to ease the transition, but they also discussed her vision for the future. Turns out, Tionna wanted to become an entrepreneur.

“I want to be a child-care provider. I want to start in-home, but I think that’s where I want to stay at, is in-home.” – Tionna, Tidewater Gardens Resident

One of the most important goals for People First Empowered by USI is to ensure that all families are safe, supported, and thriving, with access to economic opportunity and that residents choose what will help them get there.

They connected Tionna to Dream Builder, a free, online program to help women learn to run a business, which helped make her dream a reality. She plans to open her in-home childcare center after her little baby girl is born in April, and we will be ready to support Tionna as she moves forward in entrepreneurship.

Hear Tionna Tell Her Story

Addressing Barriers Faced in Tidewater Gardens

People First Empowered by USI staff were all hired locally, and some have direct experience with the same challenges that residents face. People First Empowered by USI works to holistically address the structural racism, inequities, and barriers that residents face, while also addressing the individualized challenges of each family.