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'It can be anybody': Woman details yearslong journey from homelessness to finding permanent home

Cincinnati woman moves into affordable housing
Miranda Horsley
Posted at 7:36 PM, Feb 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 19:36:26-05

CINCINNATI — A woman has found a permanent home in Cincinnati after experiencing homelessness for several years.

In 2018, Miranda Horsley was one of several people displaced after a battle with the city to clean out a homeless camp under the Third Street overpass.

“I was not in a good place in my life then,” Horsley said of the nearly two years she spent unsheltered in downtown Cincinnati.

When the camp was eventually moved, Horsley had nowhere to go. She worked with several nonprofits that were able to find her temporary housing, but never had anything permanent.

“It was really hard,” Horsley said. “I had to even get an extension on my voucher because I ran it all the way through and out.”

Neighborhoods United, a local group focused on reducing gun violence and finding affordable homes, is one of the organizations that helped Horsley find work and housing. With their help, Horsley returned to school with plans to open a craft business.

“When you believe in people and you tell them how proud you are of them, then they begin to believe in themselves and that is what happened in Miranda's case,” said Brian Garry, CEO of Neighborhoods United.

Friday, Horsley picked up the keys to her permanent apartment. She moved into the affordable housing preservation, The Arts Apartments, located in the West End.

“This is my time,” Horsley said. “Like right now, this is me, this is my time.”

While Horsley's story is one of success, advocates for those living unsheltered say there is still a long road ahead.

According to Strategies to End Homelessness, the number of unsheltered in the Tri-State went down 13% since the start of the pandemic, but CEO Kevin Finn said that decrease does not include people displaced by the pandemic who may be staying with friends or family. He says calls for resources to its Central Access Point Hotline have gone up by 60%.

“We can't count everyone, especially during this pandemic,” Garry said. “When people become homeless, they are living with other people, they are never counted.”

Horsley said there is no looking back for her, only lessons from someone who has seen the bottom and is climbing to the top.

“It can be anybody," said Horsley. “It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, your race or religion. At one point, no matter who you are, you can end up homeless.”

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