Shaketa grew up with little family support or guidance, which led to using drugs and alcohol at an early age. Living on the streets and “partying” was her life until one day her drug of choice, PCP, caused her to have a seizure. She knew she needed to change. The next day she quit “cold turkey” – it was time to start taking care of herself.
In April 2014 while still homeless and early in her sobriety, a friend recommended N Street Village. She came to the Day Center and met with Evelyn Green, Manager of Day Services. She connected with Evelyn and because of the Coordinated Assessment and Housing Placement (CAHP or Coordinated Entry) system for single individuals experiencing homelessness, it was determined she would benefit from permanent supportive housing, or having her housing and services linked to help her stay in permanent housing while receiving case management services. She was asked about her interest in living at Erna’s House, N Street Village’s permanent supportive housing program for women with histories of chronic homelessness.
“My whole world changed when I came to N Street Village.”
Shaketa was finally off the streets, sober and living in a safe and supportive community at Erna’s House. The stability and support at Erna’s House helped Shaketa find her confidence and grow. She turned a part-time security job into a full-time position. And her hard work paid off and was recognized by others: Shaketa recently received a rental subsidy through the Department of Health and Human Services’ Step Up program and now has a permanent apartment of her own.
Even though Shaketa has moved on to more independent housing, she will always be a member of the N Street Village family. Shaketa returned to Erna’s House last Thanksgiving and cooked a large meal for the residents and staff as a thank you for the support she received while living there. “N Street Village showed me how to love and give.”
Today Shaketa is happy, healthy and thriving. She loves her job and her apartment. In the future, Shaketa would like to open her own soul food café and name it after her grandmother, who taught her how to cook.
Looking back, Shaketa is grateful – “I value the supportive community that N Street Village provides.”