This has been an incredible week for me. A woman who I care for deeply, Betty Jo, signed the lease to her new apartment! It has been a very long road, but I am humbled by the outpouring of community support along the way.
Betty Jo comes to The Center three days a week. She comes to us to enjoy a cup of coffee, read her mail, do yoga, analyze poetry, write, reflect and catch-up with her friends. But we are just a small part of her community.
THE DOWNTOWN WOMEN’S CENTER provided Betty Jo with all of her housing support for the moving process. Her case manager took her to look at numerous units, fill out rental applications, sit through appointments at the Housing Authority, and pick-out furniture for her new home.
A LAWYER who walks his dog down Hollywood Blvd everyday befriended Betty Jo. He is the person who found her apartment. He reached out to a friend who is a landlord who opened her home to Betty Jo.
A BOARD MEMBER learned of a friend who wanted to donate furniture and immediately thought of Betty Jo. Betty Jo now has a desk (to do her homework and study; she is in school) and a dresser. In addition, the board member loaded up a small suitcase with curtains, fancy toiletries, and a lovely, soft nightgown.
The CHURCH provided Betty Jo with toilet paper, towels, and pantry items to get her through her first few days.
The FOOD COALITION provided Betty Jo with pantry items and snacks.
The LIBRARIANS at the local library bought Betty Jo a new blanket to rest across her bed.
ALL OF THE RESIDENTS of a local apartment complex heard that Betty Jo had received her keys and hurried out of their units and down to the streets to congratulate her.
The BUSINESS OWNERS OF HOLLYWOOD BLVD ran out of their shops to greet her with hugs and best wishes as she made her move.
A RECENTLY HOUSED PARTICIPANT gave her bus fare for her commute for the first few days so that she could travel between Hollywood and her new home.
It takes a community. No one person or agency will ever end homelessness, but together, we can. It won’t be overnight. It won’t be easy. But TOGETHER, we can make a difference.
Article contributed by Alex Davis