Staff Spotlight: Vonda Simmons

February 29, 2024

Meet Vonda Simmons. She serves as a case manager at Roof Above. In the MeckHOME program, Vonda plays a pivotal role in implementing the shared-housing model, where individuals live with roommates in a structured program aimed at achieving stability and independence. Through case management and partnerships with organizations like Furnish For Good and healthcare providers, Vonda encourages her clients to rebuild their lives and secure sustainable housing.

She has dedicated the last 10 years to serving the homeless community. Her career began with a different agency, where she worked with families, including children, before transitioning to her current role at Roof Above 18 months ago.

Vonda’s transition from working with families to supporting men experiencing homelessness highlighted the different day-to-day challenges each demographic faces. Nevertheless, her commitment to serving others remains unwavering. “I will die serving,” she says, emphasizing that servant leadership is ingrained in who she is.

Joining Roof Above was a natural progression for Vonda, who had long admired the organization’s work and donated to its cause. Motivated by her desire to broaden her experience, Vonda seized the opportunity to work with men, ensuring she had a well-rounded understanding of homelessness and how it can affect different people from diverse backgrounds.

Growing up with parents who were consistent community advocates and deeply involved in their church, Vonda inherited a strong sense of servant leadership from an early age. “I was just born and bred into it,” she says. This upbringing instilled in her the value of service, which she passed on to her own children. Now, as a grandmother, she finds joy in mentoring her son through the journey of single parenthood while continuing to actively engage with her church and community.

Vonda recognizes the resilience and potential of the individuals she serves. She says, “Everyone deserves a place to call home. I wish people really knew just how amazing the people we serve are. They’re intelligent and smart, and like us, have had life happen. They just were unable to grasp it and get back up. It might have been lack of support, or even shame, but that’s what happened. And everyone, everyone deserves a place to call home.”

One success story that brings her immense joy is witnessing a former client transition from homelessness to becoming a valued employee at Roof Above, a testament to the power of support and opportunity. “He truly believed in what we were doing. He believed in our core values. He came across the finish line, and he is now an employee of Roof Above. Every time I tell that story, I feel so much joy.”

Looking ahead, Vonda sees herself stepping into a leadership role to further advocate for affordable housing in her community. With her dedication and passion for service, she remains committed to being a beacon of hope for those in need.