She’s been helping moms in need for more than 20 years.
Director of Operations Renita Pollard joined the Home of Hope family in 2004. But that’s just part of her experience working with homeless moms.
“Prior to this, I worked at a shelter for homeless women and children in Chattanooga, Tenn. It was Chattanooga Room in the Inn,” explained Renita. “I served there for eight years.”
Not long after she and her family moved to Georgia, Renita joined the Home of Hope team — back when it was called Gwinnett Children’s Shelter.
“Pretty much all my years in Georgia, I’ve been working here,” she added.
Part of Renita’s job at Home of Hope includes overseeing the needs of staff and guests. But for Renita, helping moms and children isn’t just a matter of making sure everyone has meals, clothes, or a place to sleep.
“It’s all about being a support for them and having a listening ear — a non-judgmental listening ear. And helping them process everything and work through whatever their challenges are,” she explained.
And that listening ear doesn’t only happen from 9-5.
“The thing is, we have staff available to listen 24 hours a day,” she added. “If it’s one in the morning and a mom is crying her eyes out, Miss Michelle can be on duty and say: ‘What’s going on? How can I help?’ Somebody is always available.”
That atmosphere of family-style support is part of what makes Home of Hope unique.
“When moms and children come into our program, we step into their lives in every single aspect. That’s what I’m working with them on. They can talk to me about things that are going on here, as well as, things that may be going with family members outside of here,” said Renita. “We have that closeness, and we have a family-type atmosphere here with the moms and the children.”
Connecting with Home of Hope families is a job Renita says she’s come to love over the years.
“I just have a love and a passion for our mission and what we do here,” she said. “This agency is a great place. I’ve been here 15-plus years and I hope to be here 15-plus more.”
But what does this Lilburn mom do when she’s not on the job? For Renita, it’s all about family — especially spoiling her little grandson.
“I enjoy spending time with my family and my one and only grandson,” she said. “He’s the love of my life.”