Change came for Alice Williams, change in the form of a new home
March 29, 2018 by BFC
Guest Author: Melissa Palms
Ms. Alice Williams first came to Bread for the City to obtain an emergency supply of food. While waiting to get her food, she saw a flyer for an Orientation for the BFC Women Strong DC (now Women Empowered) program. Ms. Williams states “I just wanted to be nosey and see what the group was about! Who would have known that I would have liked it and meet so many new friends!” Ms. Williams came faithfully to the program’s daily activities, although she was struggling with an issue that no group alone could fix. She, along with so many other Bread for the City clients, was facing housing instability and struggling to find affordable housing. “I wondered where I was going to go with only getting a small amount of money each month.”
While Women Empowered isn’t focused on housing specifically, the program helped Ms. Williams learn how to advocate for her own personal needs — including finding a new place to live. Being surrounded by strong women overcoming adverse situations helped her to find her own voice. She attended various workshops that connected her to her community while the Let’s Talk and StoryTelling groups provided a platform for her to talk about her situation with her peers and receive uplifting advice.
Throughout her time with Women Empowered, Ms. Williams diligently worked with her Wellness Coordinator, Melissa Palms, on many goals, including finding affordable housing. Subsequently, an opportunity presented itself through the So Others May Eat (SOME) SRO program. “I thought I may as well try it, what do I have to lose.” In March 2017, she submitted the initial application, and then all she could do was wait. That wait came to an end in November 2017 when she received a call from a Program Manager at SOME notifying her that her name had come up on the list! Ms. Williams was given detailed instructions on the next steps and then gathered all her necessary paperwork. After submitting the required documentation, she waited again, until she was finally told she got her housing!
When she was asked about what is the best part of her new place she said, “I enjoy being comfortable and having a fun living environment.” Ms. Williams is making the most of her new housing by teaching a monthly crochet class for the residents of her building! She is also sharing new ideas for the residents to stay healthy and have fun, similar to the things she learned as a participant of the Women Empowered program.
Melissa’s work and the work of Women Empowered are made possible by support from the Jack R. Anderson Foundation and the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, as well as people like you.