By John Kelly, columnist
The Washington Post
December 8, 2015
“Everything you see here now is a direct result of Karen,” said Clyde Moore, 55, as we talked at Community of Hope in Southeast Washington, a partner in The Washington Post Helping Hand charity fundraising campaign.
“Here now” means an apartment Clyde shares with Karen’s two daughters, Latasha Battle, 33, and Miracle Washington, 16. It means jobs for Latasha and Clyde. It means high school for Miracle. It means the fortitude and perseverance to keep on going when things are difficult.
Clyde met Karen when he was searching job listings on a computer at a District employment center where Karen was working after moving off welfare.
“When she walked past, I cut the computer off,” Clyde said.“I said, ‘Hello, I need some help.’ ”
It was a ruse — Clyde has a computer degree — but it worked. Karen stopped to help, the two started dating, then got married. Clyde became a stepfather to infant Miracle and teenage Latasha.
To support the newly minted family, Karen and Clyde both worked for the city’s Housing Authority. In 2008, Karen was diagnosed with Stage 4 congestive heart failure and was unable to work. In 2011, Clyde was terminated from his job. The family ended up at the D.C. General homeless shelter.
That’s when Clyde saw Karen’s drive in action.
“Most people come into agencies thinking the agency’s going to do everything,” Clyde said. “The agency’s gonna tell you what to say, gonna tell you where to go, gonna give you the phone number. The way Karen carried it, she would go in and say, ‘This is what I need you to do for me. I have everything that you’re going to ask me right here, in triplicate. . . .’ She was such a great advocate for herself and her family.”
Story continued in The Washington Post.