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Open Communities’ Housing Counselor, Kayla Williams

One of our newer housing counselors, Kayla Williams, explains what a housing counselor does, how she found her way to Open Communities, and how she started her own non-profit organization.

Kayla Williams of Open Communities

How did you find your way to Open Communities?

I have always had a passion for working for non-profits. After I graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 with a B.S. in Global Health Studies, I planned to travel and do research with different non-profits.

I learned about Open Communities through my community. I was impressed with the work that the agency puts into the community. When I joined OC, I was excited to grow with a non-profit and learn the aspects of the housing industry.

What do you do as a housing counselor?

As a housing counselor, I work with clients who are looking to purchase their first homes, help manage their debt, and work with their loan server to avoid foreclosure. I also connect clients to resources that help them secure housing.

As a Housing Counselor, you support many clients. What are you hearing from them?

So many of our clients are struggling to recover from the pandemic. They need help with foreclosure or rental assistance, financial budgeting, or seeking shelter. As you can imagine, it can be overwhelming. I listen to each story, counsel them through their specific issue, and hopefully get them on a path to home security.

For people who need help but have not called Open Communities yet, what do you want them to know?

These are challenging times for everyone. If you need help, do not hesitate to reach out for assistance, even if you’re not completely sure what kind of assistance you need. We are here to guide you through what can seem like an overwhelming situation.

Open Communities isn’t the only non-profit where you work. Tell us about Kay’s Corner Foundation.

After my college graduation, I began to look into what and who I wanted to help the most. I was born with Sickle Cell Anemia and spent time at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I remember all the doctors and nurses making me feel so special and that I was not alone. I knew I wanted to do something to help the Sickle Cell community.

I decided to create my non-profit organization, The Kay’s Korner Foundation. We focus on children with Sickle Cell Disease. Our mission is to relieve families with children with blood diseases of financial burdens. We also give children and parents a space to learn about the condition while interacting with other children that share their journeys.



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