Stories of Hope
The after-school program at Community of Hope’s Girard Street Apartments is central to the health and well-being of the children who call Girard Street home. Five days a week, up to 25 school-age children have a safe place to study and play after their school day, thanks to Ellen Zaander. Along with their standard academic fare of homework help and tutoring, the kids participate in such diverse activities as gardening classes through City Blossoms, art projects with Project Create, and nutrition classes through DC Central Kitchen.
My story begins with me being a cocaine addicted mother with three children. I was addicted from 2005 until my clean date of April 23, 2007, when my new life began. I was homeless, living from one house to another with whoever would allow me and my children to stay for a few days.
This letter was written by an 11-year-old whose family is in our Home Now Permanent Supportive Housing Program. Home Now families receive housing support and case management services to help them maintain permanent, stable housing while they address other life concerns.
My name is Dawn Wilson. I am a former resident of Community of Hope’s Girard Street shelter. Since May of last year, my kids and I have been in our own place as part of Community of Hope’s Home Now program.
I first came to Girard Street May 1st, 2008 with 3 of my children. The house I was living in was sold, and I was told by the new owner I had to find somewhere else to live. My kids’ father tried to help but at that time he wasn’t working.