Ronn Davila is passionate and sincere as he describes the five years he spent homeless as his chance to start over. Once a successful business manager, Ronn was unemployed when he became separated from his wife and four children in 2011. He had no money in savings due to years of poor money management.
Ronn began living in his truck and spending his days searching for work, free food and a safe place to sleep and shower. “I didn’t feel helpless because my faith and my drive is such that this is not who I am, this is what I am now,” said Ronn. “I need to try to fight to get my life back.”
After experiencing homelessness for five years, Ronn’s truck broke down and he was forced to move into homeless shelters in downtown Austin. This turned out to be a blessing. He not only had regular meals, he also got a case manager who informed him about what programs were available to help him. They also gave him a voucher to work out at the YMCA. Managers at the “Y” were so impressed by how hard Ronn was working to lose weight and by his positive attitude that they hired him to clean the facility after hours. That allowed Ronn to save enough money to rent an apartment. He was no longer homeless.
From there, Ronn spent the next five years seeking out and working better paying jobs in construction, and saving his money so he could move into apartments that were nicer and in safer parts of Austin. In 2018, Ronn found out Foundation Communities would soon open a brand new, affordable apartment community in the posh Mueller development.
Ronn wanted so much to live in The Jordan at Mueller that he decided to step out on faith. He went back to living in his truck to save money, and he made sure he was one of the first people to apply for an apartment. Ronn won over the property managers with his story and his determination. They went the extra mile to help him get approved to move in. Ronn told the managers, “I’ll bring back the paperwork, I’ll go get pay stubs. I’ve got the money. You want it in pennies? Whatever you need.”
After four years, Ronn Davila is still enthusiastic about living at The Jordan. He’s constantly looking for opportunities to help his neighbors with car repairs or food. He also helps maintenance workers keep the community clean. Click on the video below to hear Ronn Davila describe the moment he found out he was approved for an apartment at The Jordan at Mueller and the day he moved in. You can help our neighbors like Ronn find a fresh start in affordable housing by supporting Foundation Communities during Amplify Austin March 1 – 2 at foundcom.org/amplify.