Maritza moved to Colorado when her husband, who was in the service, was transferred to Ft. Carson. She worked as a Spanish Analytical Linguist for federal and state law enforcement agencies during this time.
After her husband returned from Iraq, they were divorced, leading to Maritza’s first experience facing housing instability. Despite this challenge, Maritza founded her own language consulting company and provided a comfortable life for she and her three sons.
When Maritza’s largest client lost their contract with the federal government, she saw a significant portion of her income disappear overnight. This led to the eventual loss of her business which affected her credit and her ability to rent an apartment, leaving her once again facing homelessness.
While living in her car and working two jobs, Maritza was referred to the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless through the Veterans’ Affairs Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program. With this support, she began working as a peer-mentor and was eventually able to afford a market-rate apartment.
Today, Maritza is helping others by using her experience with homelessness. She is stable and self-supporting, and works to break down the stigma of homelessness by writing about her experiences.