Long-time peer advocate Clementine Alford is celebrating buying her own home!
On any given morning, Clementine Alford is out inspecting homes to help secure permanent housing for clients as a peer advocate at Health Care for the Homeless. But despite her commitment to her work, she has long been unable to afford a place of her own as she raises her son and grandson at her apartment in Northeast Baltimore. Until now.
Five years ago, Clementine heard about Habitat for Humanity and their work to assist with homeownership. She decided to apply for her own place because she wanted something better for herself. “I have always been taking care of people and put myself on the backburner,” she said.
In 2015, after going through homeowner training with Habitat for Humanity, Clementine was selected to have her own place and taken to choose a house on McCabe Avenue in Northeast Baltimore. Once construction began, she visited it once a week. Over time, she went back frequently—to see the windows go in, to see the building of the front porch—and her excitement built. This week, Clementine’s excitement became reality as her house was finally completed.
Clementine, whose story was featured in the Baltimore Sun, takes pride in her journey while she continues to help others at work. “There is nothing more satisfying to me than taking a homeless person and putting them in a safe, secure home. Nothing feels better than when you see that success.”
After 22 years renting and 12 years helping clients at Health Care for the Homeless—all while raising her son Tommy and her grandson Tommy Jr.—Clementine will close on her house in late June and move in soon after. “This place will be something to leave to my grandkids so they have some place to go. It means my dream is coming together,” she says.