Angie Lozano of Cottonwood, Ariz., believes one person can make a real difference. That's why she turned several rental properties she owns into low-income housing for seniors, single moms, recovering drug addicts, recently released prisoners and anyone in need of shelter, creating a nonprofit enterprise she calls Angie's House.
Angie Lozano – Angie’s House, Cottonwood, AZ
Angie For individuals sometimes it’s really not their fault that they’re homeless. Sometimes it’s beyond their control, but they’re all capable of getting out of it. It’s just giving them a place, and some support. Being loved and accepted and a place to lay your head at night is huge in order for you to be able to, to get back up on your feet.
TEXT Angie Lozano – Founder + Executive Director - Angie’s House – Cottonwood, Ariz., USA
Angie Angie’s House works with government agencies and other nonprofits to provide housing for low-income individuals in Cottonwood, Arizona, and from Sedona, Clarkdale, Jerome, Flagstaff and Prescott.
Angie I was born and raised in Cottonwood, Arizona. It was a small town. There was a lot of care. You could, you know, go out in the evening and play and you knew the people that lived next door. It was a really nice place to grow up.
TEXT Angela’s father was a school administrator. Her mother worked multiple part-time jobs.
Angie My parents, they worked very, very hard, but there seemed to never be enough to cover stuff that was outgoing. It shaped my life. I said, “Okay. I will work hard to get what I want but I will have to save for it.”
TEXT Angie majored in accounting at Northern Arizona University and graduated in 1991.
TEXT She began a career in finance.
TEXT By 2000 Angie was CFO of a large leisure company.
Angie We were doing all the way up to $75,000,000 in sales. I loved it. In the year 2000 a company from Florida merged with our company. And they always tell you, “Your job’s secure.” Of course that was not the case and so a lot of the top managers were, were released.
Angie And at that point was when I thought, “What am I going to do? What am I going to do now that I’ve lost my dream job?”
TEXT Angie had already bought two properties that she planned to use for retirement income.
TEXT The rent covered her mortgage expenses.
Angie The first two homes that I bought was actually just a regular rental property. I realized that my residents were having a hard time paying their rent. They could pay the utilities, but not the rent. So then I realized, well, they were dealing with some addiction issues.
TEXT Angie did not kick the residents out. She began to charge rent based on ability to pay.
TEXT As she bought more houses, she kept them single sex and required the tenants be clean and sober.
TEXT Local jails, specialty courts, rehab centers and private charities began to refer clients to Angie’s homes.
Angie We don’t require a huge application process. Their counselor calls me, we talk, explain to them that it is an actual program. They will be required to look for work, and get on their feet, and be self-supporting but pretty much if they’re willing to do that it’s a go and they come to us. And that was one thing I’m very proud of, we don’t have a lot of red tape. And the big reason for doing that is when someone needs help they don’t need help in four weeks. They need help now.
SOT Thank you, because that would have actually cost us about $75.
TEXT Maintaining the buildings is a constant job and is the way she met her husband, Pedro Lozano, in 2003.
Angie Pedro was actually helping me repair my rental properties. He was, you know, a very kind person and the neat thing I loved about him was I repairing my homes as well and we complemented each other.
SOT You’re going to have to repair the blind.
Angie Pedro was homeless as a young child and as a young adult. So he gave me a huge perspective on housing for the homeless. So he and I said, “We do the homes all the time. Why don’t we just create a homeless shelter?” So we did. So we took one of our small little homes and we turned it into a homeless shelter.
TEXT In addition to the shelter, Angie has nine transitional homes that can house 90 to 100 people a night.
TEXT But the need keeps growing.
Angie There are so many people in need of help and I...it breaks my heart when I can’t help them.
SOT I was really happy to hear that Winston, Glenn’s little boy and Carl’s little boy Guinness play. -Oh they do. It’s like two jet planes, just voom! Voom! Back and forth. Yeah, it’s funny.
Angie What I’m seeing with the homeless population here in Cottonwood is they’re older and that is when it’s heartbreaking because at 65 I don’t want to be looking for a place to stay. And those are the days when I’m like, “Gosh, if, is what I’m doing helping enough?”
SOT One month I got messed up on my money. So I stayed here for about a month until I got my disability check.
Angie But we forget how powerful we are. One person can make the difference and make the change and I love the challenge of saying, “Okay, this needs to be fixed. Let me figure out a way,” and then getting it accomplished. But one person can make a change in the world, just one.
Posted: July 25, 2017