Woman leads rapid re-housing program at Open Door Ministries

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Some of Tonya Clinard-Marshall’s work requires being in her office, but if you spend enough time with her, you’ll realize she usually isn’t there long.

Most often she’s on the road driving to someone in need.

“I get in the trenches with my clients,” she said.

Clinard-Marshall leads the rapid re-housing program at Open Door Ministries in High Point.

The program helps people out of homelessness by finding them safe housing and providing the necessary resources for them to ultimately become self-sufficient.

However, Clinard-Marshall is a firm believer that to do that, they need people they can count on to show them the way.

If that means taking someone to get his or her hair cut, registered to vote or to a counseling appointment, she’s willing to do it.

“I tell people I am a social worker by nature first, then education. If it's not in you, it's not coming out, so you have to have a heart for this. You have to have passion for this,” she said.

FOX8 was with Clinard-Marshall when she went to visit Jasmin, a client who is a new mom.

“If I would have never went into this program and then came in contact with her, I probably would be homeless. Yes, I would still be homeless. Nine times out of 10 either my daughter would be in my mom's custody because I wouldn't have stable housing or the system would have took her,” she said.

Seeing that turnaround is what keeps Clinard-Marshall inspired to make a difference.

“A good day for me is seeing a client smile because they have accomplished one goal, one goal,” she said.