08-28-2017 · Homelessness · Making Wages Work


After working as a nurse for 18 years, Lavonna McKoy broke her knee. The demands of a nursing career were too much for her injury, and eventually she lost her job. As she struggled to make ends meet, Lavonna ultimately lost her home.

At the time, she felt defeated. She remembers her children telling her that she had “lost her fight.” This motivated Lavonna to push forward. In her search for assistance, she found United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Financial Capability Network.

Achieving Financial Stability by Making Wages Work

At the time, Lavonna was still in transitional housing and was eager to regain her independence. After realizing that her low credit score did not qualify her to buy a house, Lavonna sought financial coaching through Making Wages Work, a program within the Financial Capability Network. Using what she learned, Lavonna opened a bank account and started making timely payments on her credit card. Slowly, her credit score climbed and in December of 2016, Lavonna achieved her dream of buying a house.

Paying It Forward

Today, Lavonna works as a contractor with United Way, primarily serving women and children in Clayton County. She was approached about the job by the same person who coached her during her time of need. Lavonna regards United Way as her family, and she loves the opportunity to pay it forward daily.