Gwendolyn Thomas sits in her former office at the Laurel Housing Authority. (Photo by Eloria Newell James)

Gwendolyn Thomas sits in her former office at the Laurel Housing Authority. (Photo by Eloria Newell James)

Longtime Laurel Housing Authority employee Gwendolyn Thomas calls those she worked with at the Housing Authority her family.

Thomas, who retired from LHA on Aug. 31, said joining LHA’s staff nearly two decades ago was a good decision for her.

“I have really enjoyed it,” she said of her time with the agency. “I’ve been blessed to be a part of this great group here at the Housing Authority.”

Thomas, who has worked for the Department of Human Services, made a career change about 18 years ago and joined LHA.

“I’ve enjoyed the experiences I’ve gained here,” she said. “I’m a people-person and I enjoy helping people and doing what I can to make improvements in the lives of others.”

Thomas, who has worked at various sites of the Housing Authority, said she’s enjoyed her journey.

She began her work as a site manager at the Housing Authority’s West Beacon Site, which underwent an improvement phase that included the demolishing and rebuilding of several homes. She was later assigned to the Arco Lane Site storage before being reassigned to the Triangle Homes Site, where she completed her service with LHA.

“I’ve developed a bond with the tenants and a great working relationship with the staff,” she said. “It’s been great.”

Over the years, working at the Housing Authority has been like working with family, and that made the decision to retire difficult.

“I have enjoyed being here,” she said. “They helped raise my children and grandchil- dren. They have always been a part of our lives.”

However, she wants to spend more time with her two children — Teneka and Secily — and her two grandchildren – 8-year-old grandson Kamauri and 5-year-old granddaughter Amelia.

Thomas, who is a member of United Baptist Church, also plans to continue to work in her church and help others.

“I’ve always been dedicated to my job and believe in giving my best always,” she said. “I always want to do the best and do the Lord’s will.”

Thomas said she lives by the Golden Rule and strives to “treat everyone right.”

The retiree said she will always feel like she’s a part of the Housing Authority family.

“I feel like I’ll always be a part of the Housing Authority,” she said.

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