Stories of Hope
Nothing could prepare Shanna Dodson for that moment. Seated in a dental chair, Shanna popped the new dentures in. And instantly a smile broke out. It was a smile she had waited years to see again.
Joseph Morgan, a DC native, is still in disbelief that he finally has his own apartment after being homeless for over 10 years. “I didn’t think it was reality. I thought, something is going to happen and I won’t get the apartment. And then reality set in when they gave me the key.”
Marcellus Jones had two special reasons to celebrate his birthday this year– first, life and, second, a new apartment. It is a home he can finally call his own. His family and friends gathered for his 49th birthday and enjoyed a night full of dancing and eating.
Deep, intentional breathing. Guided stretches. Centered thoughts. Pregnant mommas at every stage of pregnancy enjoyed a prenatal yoga class hosted at Community of Hope’s Family Health and Birth Center by our partners from the Developing Families Center (DFC).
Teresa Smith, a DC resident, cried with gratitude as she shared the painful journey she endured before having her own apartment. “The moment I found out I was getting an apartment; I knew the test was over. Nobody could take my joy.”
January is National Mentoring Month and we want to congratulate Mentor Kristal Lightning! We are thrilled to share that not only is Kristal Community of Hope's 2018 Mentor of the Year but she was also chosen as one of the three United Way of the National Capital Area and Deloitte's Mentoring Matters Coalition Mentors of the Year! She was chosen out of a pool of over 25 organizations who host mentoring programs throughout the DC-metro area.
“When others don’t advocate for you, you advocate for yourself.”
That is the motivation for client Jennifer McLaughlin. Jennifer, 41, originally grew up in Baltimore city and shares that she never had an example of what stable housing looked like because her parents became homeless when she was just three years old, forcing the family to put her in the foster care system. After being in the system for a couple of years she was then reconnected with her family again. Unfortunately, their time together was short-lived, and Jennifer moved out when she was just 15 years old.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and statistics show that about 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In D.C., breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer, with Ward 8 having the highest incidence. Regrettably, for longtime S.E. community member and mom, Donita Caldwell, these statistics weren’t just numbers; they were real people with real connections to her life.
Deidra Eskew, DC native and mom of two, knew when she came to Community of Hope that she had to change. She had never known her father and, as a result, went through much of her childhood and into adulthood feeling alone. She had harbored resentment towards her mother – due to her father’s absence and then was burdened with guilt and sadness when her mom passed away.
Tameika Price, a DC resident and Community of Hope patient found her voice this month as she shared about her pregnancy journey. She provided a testimonial video at the Mayor’s Maternal and Infant Health Summit.