"I was homeless, abusing substances and making very poor choices when I was diagnosed with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in May of 2007. I thought being homeless was hard enough, but receiving an HIV+ diagnosis while homeless was completely unbearable......." Brenda is a Peer Advocate with the BABES Network of the YWCA Seattle I King I Snohomish. In honor of National HIV Awareness month, she shares her personal story in which stable housing was the first big step to securing treatment.
We continue our series, "Not a Prisoner of the Past," exploring the challenges facing women and families that are attempting to build their life again after being incarcerated and other life changing circumstances. This is our fifth post in this series and Andrea VanHorn continues to invite us into the YWCA Seattle I King I Snohomish Passage Point, a supportive residential community for parents discharged from the corrections system who would otherwise be homeless and who seek to reunite with their minor children and families. We introduced you to Nora in this earlier Photo Friday post, and now share her story along with others below.
"Being a client here at the YWCA in Bellevue, I find this place to be safe, warm, and reliable. A resourceful place to network for jobs, housing, healthcare, and community services. A place where the staff is always exceptionally caring and supportive. I am grateful for the YWCA and all it's contributions. They make it possible for women like me to have a place to grow and to go."
-Dee Dee, referring to Angeline's Eastside Women's Center.
(Photo thanks to InvisiblePeople.tv)
Carey Fuller manages multiple social media accounts with vibrant online communities. She is also experiencing homelessness. Living in Kent, WA, with her two daughters, Carey shares her perspective on online community and social media advocacy that can positively impact the homeless community.