WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) — People become homeless for a variety of reasons. And most face multiple challenges. Two years ago, Rene Petaway says she hit rock bottom, “I was desperate, destitute, lonely and just despaired. I really didn’t know what to do. My daughter had mentioned N Street and of course I was against shelters because I had never been homeless before.”
As the largest service provider of women in Washington, N Street Village helps nearly 900 homeless and low-income women each year. Executive Director, Schroeder Stribling explains, “they can receive services for their basic needs, starting at the most simple things meals, laundry, clothing a place to make a telephone call, and address where they can receive mail.”
Petaway now has her own apartment, and eagerly mentors other homeless women, “I would call myself an alumni now. I really enjoy coming back here to do meetings to help out wherever I can because I believe in giving back.”
Many of the clients who come here to N Street Village suffer from mental illness, incarceration, illiteracy and sexual trauma. But they say they get more than training and housing, they get love and the necessary tools to be self- sufficient. Petaway testifies, “When I came here to N Street Village I was hopeless. Now I have HOPE: H for happiness, O for opportunity, P for peace and E for empowerment.”
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