Yolanda recounts her personal journey as a current RHA resident and looks hopeful to the future. She talks about how RHA and her faith have helped her see a vision for a successful future.

Yolanda Nelson brings a different perspective of I Am Rockford. Previous I Am Rockford interviews shared an “outside looking in” story and a former resident’s account of his journey. Yolanda shares her story from inside public housing – now.

In 2003, Yolanda was working for Hamilton Sundstrand. Two years later she became legally blind, rendering her disabled. By 2011, she enrolled in section 8 housing with Rockford Housing Authority.

Pocketful of Faith from Rockford Housing Authority on Vimeo.

“I had never relied on any government assistance, because I am college educated,” said Yolanda.

When Yolanda was first coping with her disability she feared she would become dependent on assistance from others including the government. Eventually, she realized she could maintain most of her independence while receiving help and support from Rockford Housing Authority.

In her downtime, Yolanda volunteers at church as a musician and often practices and plays piano on her own time. When she is not volunteering she is working to launch her own business, Touched by Heaven Designs; her lifelong dream.



“The ultimate goal is to get back into the workforce,” Yolanda says, “despite being disabled, despite me seeing the world the way I see it, I am still getting it done.”

Through Yolanda’s faith, she believes opportunities have opened up for her; even with her disability. With the support she receives from RHA Yolanda is currently writing a business plan for her design business. When her company is up and running, she plans to enroll in the Family Self-Sufficiency program with aspirations to one day own her own home.


“Don’t wait for someone to give you a silver platter, buy it yourself!” Yolanda says.

To find out more about the Family Self-Sufficiency program click here