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.
Nakia had moved away from DC, but due to some health issues, she decided to return with her son to be closer to family. Her plans were to live with her sister and get back on her feet but, unfortunately, her sister’s home environment wasn’t healthy. As the family fighting escalated, Nakia chose to move. She found herself back in the situation from her youth–not knowing where she would go, this time, with a son in tow.
“I was directed to look for a shelter, and at first, it was really scary,” she says. “I’ve heard so many horror stories about the shelters…so I was really kind of depressed about having to go to a shelter. But then I found Community of Hope, and it was nothing like I was told it was going to be.”
Community of Hope is different for many reasons – our compassionate staff works as a team that is very focused on making homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring. With a referral from Virginia Williams Family Resource Center, Nakia was placed at the Triumph, our Ward 8 Short-Term Housing Site. The Triumph is a safe and dignified place to stay while families gain more permanent housing with the help of a case manager and team.
Nakia raved about how supportive her caseworker was and how quickly her anxieties about staying at a shelter dissipated. She says, “My caseworker has been such a huge help trying to get us to where we need to go…like he went to bat for us night and day trying to get the process done.”
Nakia found navigating the housing system to be overwhelming and time-consuming. “When I was working, I didn’t have time to really make all the calls and do all the paperwork. [My caseworker] was just so much help getting a lot of things done for me that I didn’t have the time to do. You don’t know who to reach out to, where to go, what to look for… there were a lot of questions that I didn’t even know I had to ask,” she says.
Nakia shared how excited she is to move into her new apartment this month stating, “It was definitely a process trying to find the unit because everywhere that I looked…it was in a bad neighborhood, or the buildings weren’t really clean. We finally found one that we really liked in NE DC. ”
Nakia feels grateful and humbled to be in this new chapter of her life. She sees these transitions as an opportunity to help others in the future and feels connected to a higher purpose. “I know that I’m born to be a leader, to be a teacher. But how can I teach others if I’ve never experienced this? Learning and books give us knowledge, but experience gives us wisdom. I’m just so grateful for everyone I crossed paths with during my process. Thanks [to] everybody for just helping us get through this transition.”