--- Issued July 5, 2016

Mauri Allen, 31, is a single mother of two children ages 12 and 7. She is a 2003 graduate of East High School and a recent graduate of Mercyhurst Northeast, with a Registered Nurse Associates’ Degree.

Mauri was in public housing for six years and is eager to see what her future has in store.

From left, at Mauri Allen's graduation ceremony from PHFSS are, from left: Lynette Burkhart, FSS Coordinator; Dan Roessner, Hace executive director, Allen, and Patreece Johnson, Allen's PHFSS caseworke.

She would like to expose her children to another environment, so at a young age, they are aware that “the world is bigger than Erie, and that Erie does not have to be their 'forever.'”

She is adamant that there are better opportunities in education, recreation, and life that are waiting for them.

One thing that Mauri says she  will miss about HACE is being able to “breathe financially.”

HACE allowed her to stay in a 3 bedroom unit for 6 years with a rent amount that did not exceed $300.00. That allowed her to provide for her children, complete her education, and become self-sufficient.

Mauri’s advice to others in public housing is “Do not make a career out of public housing. Utilize what you need to, use the time to better yourself, and get out.”

She hopes that after being closer to family and experiencing new things she will be more fulfilled. She wants to live comfortably, spend time with her kids, and have a career she enjoys.

Having been a nurses'  aide , she is working to become a registered nurse in Georgia.

 “I’m not sure if the grass is greener in Georgia, but I have to get there and at least water it to see,” she says.