As an affordable housing developer, Maia Cooper understands the huge impact that housing has on families.
“I’ve had the opportunity to go out in the field and work on affordable and supportive housing developments,” she says. “Through that process I’ve been able to meet residents, community partners, and individuals who work for Continuums of Care and get inspired by their stories.”
Recognizing the need for different types of housing and seeing the many affordable housing professionals working to fill that demand motivated Cooper to write “Everybody Deserves a Home,” a new children’s book that follows Big Pup as he helps provide housing for a single mama bird, an elderly bear, and others.
Through the different characters, Cooper shows that housing isn’t one size fits all.
While much of her time is spent as vice president of development at Ohio-based Woda Cooper Cos., one of the nation’s top affordable housing firms, she began thinking about a book two years, gradually crafting a story in her spare time, often using the Notes app on her iPhone.
The book fits children about 5 to 7 years old, says Cooper, the mother of a 3-month-old baby.
With colorful illustrations done by Cooper’s college roommate Valerie Valdivia, “Everybody Deserves a Home” is self-published through Beaver’s Pond Press. It’s finding its way into local Ohio bookstores and attracting attention through word of mouth.
Social workers assisting families experiencing homelessness, therapists, and others have begun to reach out because they are looking for stories where children can see themselves in the stories, according to Cooper.
People can find out more at www.everybodydeservesahome.com.