That is when Thomas and her children moved to Abilene, in pursuit of a career in the funeral industry and a way to better provide for her family.
She was already on the Housing Choice Voucher Program when she moved and shortly after, the Family Self Sufficiency Program came along.
Executive Director of the Abilene Housing Authority, Gene Reed, says, "When we grew this program back in 2010 from 5 individuals up to 30 individuals, she was one of the first individuals that took advantage of the growth in the program."
It is a goal-oriented program that takes the average person anywhere between five to seven years to complete.
Thomas completed the program in two and a half years.
She says, "The family self sufficiency program is definitely a program where it's more of a hands up than a hand out because you can't get anything without working for it."
"She really had a plan when she first came on the voucher program and she had told herself that she didn't want to stay on the program. She wanted to use the program for what it was," Reed adds.
There were times Thomas says she wanted to give up, but she kept her focus on what she wanted and who she wanted it for.
She says, "Never lose sight of the end goal. I just wanted my children to have a better life for themselves. I didn''t want to have to use the system indefinitely. I definitely wanted to use it to help me get out."
If you are in need of affordable housing, you can visit www.abileneha.org to fill out an online application and get more information.