WomenTransforming the Lives of Others: Cheryl Johnson, COTS Detroit

March 17, 2016
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Women's History Month
Women Transforming the Lives of Others
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Cheryl Johnson, Executive Director 
Coalition On Temporary Housing (COTS)

Cheryl Johnson has toiled relentlesslyin the trenches for 26 years helping Detroit’s homeless population as the ExecutiveDirector of COTS.  Astonishingly, thereare over 16,000 homeless in the streets of Detroit, in which 1/3 are children. The30 year old non-profit provides 200 units of permanent housing, a temporary andtransitional housing for families and individuals.

Ms. Johnson states, “I noticed that thechildren of our former clients were staying at the shelter with their children.Every generation should improve on another. We must break the cycle ofpoverty.”

She sought to obtain the training andskills she needed to create a holistic approach to help homeless families outof poverty. Cheryl became a certified life coach and attended the HarvardBusiness School Executive Education in Non-profit Management program.  

The Passport to Self-Sufficiency™ theory ofchange was birthed as a result of her training. The program provides resources such as housing, education and training,financial literacy, health and well-being and employment and job training toend the malice cycle of poverty among families.

Despite her hard work to support other families,Cheryl cherishes the relationships with her four children and husband. Shestates, “I wake up every morning being grateful. I am clear about one thing, mymission is to eradicate poverty wherever it is in the world.”  To find out more information about COTS visit www.cotsdetroit.org.

Takeaways from the interview include:

·                 As a leader seek to serveothers

·                 Listen to the heart of yourclients and learn from them

·                 Be grateful for what youhave

·                 Seek to improve the livesof each generation in your family

·                 Think about how yourcurrent narrative is blocking you from being your best you

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Angeline Lawrence isan author, speaker and spiritual growth consultant. She co-authored Resilience:Living Life by Design, which detailed her faith-based strategy to overcomeworkplace bullying. She will publish her second book, Positioned4Power: TheWorking Woman’s Guide to Winning in Life in spring of 2016. Subscribe to herweekly blog posts, Words to L.I.V.E. by – (Live in Victory and Expectation) onher website at https://www.angelinelawrence.com/blog.

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