The 2022 Tom Nees Award for Exceptional Service honors Caty Poulin for her 16 years of visionary partnership. Caty first walked through the doors of Community of Hope in 2006 as we opened our first Ward 8 location. Over the years, she has been a committed friend, thoughtful advisor, and inspirational leader as Community of Hope has grown from then two locations to now 8 properties and expanded services throughout DC.
Sherry Williams, a mother and survivor, knows trauma all too well – but despite growing up in foster care, experiencing homelessness, managing addiction, and overcoming physical, mental, and emotional abuse from a young age, Sherry stands tall today as a woman rebuilt on hope.
Adyba found healing at Community of Hope after fleeing Afghanistan in August 2021.
Escaping her home country was no easy journey. Traveling alone, she was stuck in Kabul airport for six days without food and water. For another six challenging days, she waited in Qatar before she finally arrived in the United States.
An opportunity to donate to Bellevue’s 10th annual Back to School Bash in August became a full circle moment for one former Community of Hope housing client, Diane. She was elated to be able to give back to her community—especially through an organization Diane credits, along with her faith, as a catalyst to her personal evolution.
Sherry beams with pride as she talks about her youngest son, Rashad, earning his high school diploma this year.
“I’m amazed and happy,” says Sherry, as she dotes on her son for overcoming tremendous obstacles to get to this point. Rashad and Sherry see this commencement as a start to a brighter future for them both. In 2011, Sherry and her children lost stable housing. Rashad, her youngest, was only 8 years old when her family arrived at DC General Shelter. Here, she was connected with Community of Hope.
Nakia is excited for this new chapter in her life—one with clarity, focus, and a new home.
Nakia grew up in the DC area but didn’t have much stability growing up. “I got passed around and moved a lot…it [was] bad at the time [but] I’ve always been able to adapt to different places, people, and situations because of all the moving,” she says.
Community of Hope patients, Shermica and Don, were excited when they found out that they were going to welcome a new baby into the world. They began receiving care at a local hospital, and although the care was adequate, over time they began to realize they were looking for a different experience than what the hospital could provide. In March, they did a Google search to see if there was any place in the District they could have a water birth – an experience that requires the birthing person to be unmedicated and free to move around while still under the care of a medical team. They found Community of Hope.
Anthony Durant lights up when he talks about his four-year-old son, Amir. “He is very energetic,” laughs Anthony. "He is smart, talkative, loves to learn, wants to get into everything, and is not afraid to get his hands dirty. He wants to be a paleontologist.”
Supporting and encouraging his son comes easy to Anthony, but sometimes that comes with making hard and uncomfortable decisions. One of the hardest was deciding to leave their home and puppy for a fresh start.
Heather Wise Reed proudly wears many hats—an early childhood educator, a Washington DC resident, Community of Hope board member and patient, and most importantly a mother.
Day after day, we are exposed to first- and second-hand traumas in our communities and in the world around us. Adrienne Wise, Community of Hope's Director of Emotional Wellness, shares about the importance of emotional wellness and some best practices to help process grief and suffering.