In 1996, DeDe Crosby and her young son, Steven, moved to Rancho Cucamonga to start rebuilding their lives. She had just ended one of the most difficult years of her life and was desperate for a new start. She had been living in La Verne, working a job where she felt she needed a little “extra” to stay awake, so she began to use crystal methamphetamine. She was also surrounded by “friends” who encouraged her drug use. Her use of ‘speed’ eventually became an addiction, leading her to lose custody of her son.

With the support from her family, DeDe entered an outpatient program. Once completed, she regained custody of her son. She also knew she needed to move away from negative influences that could jeopardize her sobriety, so she relocated and settled into a market-rate apartment at Monterey Village. But when the rent increased after a year, DeDe went to submit her notice. However, the community manager informed her about their affordable program, which would allow her to stay with reduced rent.

For the next 15 years, DeDe and her son called Monterey Village home. The reduced rent gave her a little extra income to enroll her son in youth sports. The community’s learning center gave him somewhere to go after school while she worked. It provided him access to a computer and printer, something they couldn’t afford. The staff and neighbors also provided a support system and extended family. DeDe recalls a time when she was laid off and was worried about what to do next, and there came a knock at the door. It was a neighbor with bags of groceries.

As DeDe became more financially secure, she started to think about returning to college. At that time, she was working as an office manager but had always desired a career in Human Resources (HR). She wanted to show her son, then a high school senior, that improvement and growth were always possible. Together, DeDe and her son attended Chaffey Community College, and then both continued their education at Cal Poly in Pomona. DeDe would graduate after her son with a bachelor’s degree. That degree led to a job as an Assistant HR Manager for PDU CAT, Inc. Seven years later, she’s the Director of HR and a homeowner.

DeDe will tell you that her biggest struggle when she arrived at Monterey Village was learning to believe in herself again. After overcoming so much adversity, her biggest success has been the achievement of this belief. “I owe a debt of gratitude to those at Monterey Village, National Core and Hope through Housing for believing in me even before I could believe in myself.”

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