She wanted to leave the abusive relationship…
Lenox Warren | Contributor
Kwanzaa doesn’t know where she would be right now without the support of Hope House and their Emergency Fund. In early spring 2016, Kwanzaa lost her dearest friend and biggest support: her mother. Being newly pregnant and unable to purchase maternity clothes, Kwanzaa had nothing to wear to her mother’s funeral.
So, she reached out to a social worker at Hope House, a Memphis non-profit serving HIV-affected individuals and their families. Kwanzaa’s social worker immediately jumped into action, using the Hope House Emergency Fund to purchase clothes for her mother’s funeral. This fund consists of donations from the community that are used to support the immediate needs of those living with HIV/AIDS.
“Hope House has been such a blessing to me and my baby and I am so grateful for them.”
Throughout Kwanzaa’s pregnancy, she continued to receive clothing and undergarments from the Emergency Fund, as well as, continued support and love from everyone at Hope House. A few months after her mother’s death, Kwanzaa became the victim of domestic violence. She wanted to leave the abusive relationship, but had nowhere to go. Once more, Kwanzaa reached out to her social worker at Hope House for help. Using the Emergency Fund, the social worker was able to provide Kwanzaa with safe, temporary housing until she could receive assistance from a local domestic violence shelter. After a short time in the shelter, Kwanzaa obtained permanent housing through Hope House’s Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) Program.
In November 2016, Kwanzaa gave birth to a beautiful, baby boy who was HIV negative. Through donations made to Hope House by the community, Kwanzaa received everything she needed to take care of her new baby. She was also able to enroll her baby in the Hope House child care program, where the baby receives love and care in a safe and healthy environment. Hope House also provides transportation for her baby to and from the child care center each day. Because of this continued support, Kwanzaa has gained more hope for her future.
Today Kwanzaa is back in school, working to get her GED and recently tested “off the charts” on her reading and comprehension exam. Additionally, Kwanzaa was recently hired for her first job in three years. She is excited and motivated to move forward with her new life and possibly go to college one day to earn a degree in social work so that she can help others just as she has been helped by so many. She is even paying it forward now by allowing a Hope House client who is homeless to stay with her until the client obtains her own permanent housing.
With more than 7,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Memphis, Hope House is combatting this epidemic by providing services that aim to improve viral suppression in those living with HIV/AIDs, helping them to live a long and healthier life and prevent the transmission of the virus to others.
This spring Hope House clients and staff will be holding a yard sale to raise money for the Emergency Fund to help more people like Kwanzaa. The event will be held at Hope House (23 S. Idlewild Memphis, TN 38104) on Friday, March 31, 2017 (8 a.m. – 2 p.m.) and Saturday, April 1, 2017 (7 a.m. – 2 p.m.) If you would like to donate items for the sale, we will be accepting donations Saturday and Sunday, March 25-26th (12 p.m. – 2 p.m.) and Monday through Thursday, March 27-30th (8 a.m. – 4 p.m.).
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Director of Development | Hope House Memphis
Our mission is to improve the quality of life of HIV-impacted children and their families by addressing their educational, social, psychological and health needs.
Hope House is a nonprofit serving the Memphis community since 1995 when it was founded by the Junior League of Memphis. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for HIV-affected individuals and their families by providing high quality early childhood education and social services. Our services include daycare and preschool for children 6 weeks to 5 years old and adult social services which include individual therapy, case management, group support, life skill classes and a housing program (Tenant-Based Rental Assistance). Hope House is a Shelby County School Community Partner and accredited by NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children). With more than 7,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Memphis, Hope House is combating this epidemic by providing services that aim to improve viral suppression in those living with HIV/AIDS, helping them to live a long and healthier life and prevent the transmission of the virus to others.
We can do more with your help! To learn more about Hope House or how to get involved please visit our website at www.hopehousememphis.org You can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.