Tammie showing the awards that earned her the nickname “General Underwood”
Tammie Underwood Fund-a-need Speech
Tammie was the Fund-a-need speaker at A Night With The Stars 2014, Community Housing Partnership’s annual event.
Hi everyone! I’m Tammie Underwood, and I’m here tonight to share with you my story. Like some of you here, I was a bit of a wild child during my teenage years. However, what was once a wild streak turned into something more serious after I became involved with the wrong crowd; my behavior began to have life-altering consequences. At 15 years old, I had my first child. As I grew older, I began to turn to drugs. My life spiraled out of control until finally I had a near death experience that made me realize I needed to do something to change and provide for my family.
In the early 90’s I began rebuilding my life by going to school, getting married and starting a business, but these good times did not last. My mother passed away, I got a divorce and my husband took custody of our child. I was devastated…my spiral continued!
It wasn’t long after I started using drugs again that my life officially fell apart. In 2004, I was arrested and served jail time on charges of possession. During that time, I lost my housing and when I got out of jail I had nowhere to go. For 5 years, between 2005 and 2010, I slept in shelters when I could get a bed and at other times out on the street.
In 2010, my life had truly hit rock bottom. I had nowhere to turn to, so I began to pray. I prayed to God, “if you give me a second chance, I will change. No more drugs.” My prayers were heard! With support and dedication I graduated from Drug Counseling Program, and my case manager helped me find housing. My life was starting to improve quickly, but I still needed to find a job to truly re-take control of my life.
That’s when a friend told me about Community Housing Partnership’s Lobby Service Training Program that teaches clients the skills to become desk clerks. I was so excited; I couldn’t wait to enroll and start learning!
During my time in the program, I showed up to class every day, was the first to arrive, and sat right in the front. Lita, my employment counselor, took notice and recognized my yearning to succeed. After the training program, she recommended me for Solutions SF, Community Housing Partnership’s social enterprise, and I was hired as an on-call desk clerk. I loved working for Solutions Sf, and my work ethic didn’t go unnoticed. I received so many recognition badges that my coworkers began calling me “General Underwood!”
With the experience, encouragement and training I received from Solutions SF and Community Housing Partnership, I am happy to announce that as of February 10th I have a full time job with benefits as a front desk clerk at Caritas Management.
I am so thankful for the opportunities Community Housing Partnership offered me. People like me, with criminal backgrounds and a history of struggles, don’t usually receive second chances. I could have easily ended up back on the streets. But instead, Community Housing Partnership helped me get a job. For the first time, I am able financially support my youngest daughter in college, receive health benefits from my job, and save for the future. I am proud of what I have accomplished and my children and grandchildren are proud too. It has been a dream come true.
Ways to Give
Your generous support is vital to ending homelessness and providing opportunity for families and individuals in San Francisco.
Mail check made out to”Community Housing Partnership” to:
Community Housing Partnership
ATTN: Fund Development
20 Jones Street, Suite 200
San Francisco, CA 94102
Donate By Phone
Call us at 415.852.5300 to safely give your credit card information directly to our Director of Fund Development.