YWCA Opportunity Place resident Shelby Powell was on track to attend medical school when she was diagnosed with schizophrenia. She couldn't hold down a job, and became temporarily homeless. Shelby has faced many challenges since her diagnosis, but she's thankful for the financial support she receives through the Aged, Blind & Disabled (ABD) program, which has helped her afford her rent and basics like bus fare and cleaning supplies. She testified at the state capitol, asking legislators to protect the social safety net that has kept her stably housed. Watch Shelby's testimony and learn how you can advocate for lifeline programs like ABD.
Over the past decade, data has emerged showing that our childhoods affect us more than previously thought. Not only do they affect our adult mental health, but they can also lay the groundwork for our long-term physical health. It’s all part of a fascinating framework called Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs. Perry Firth, a student at Seattle University, guest blogs for us again and uses her counseling background to look at childhood homelessness through the lens of ACEs.
Sarah Swihart (2nd to right) with her parents and fiance at her Seattle University graduation Spring of 2012. She'll be returning to Seattle U this fall to begin a Masters in Public Administration with a powerful perspective that will make her a great policy advocate!
We continue our Why Childcare Matters 5 part series with our guest blogger, Sarah, sharing her personal story of domestic violence and homelessness. Not belittling her own difficulties, Sarah reflects on how much more difficult it is for mothers. Child care can present a huge barrier for parents working to provide for their families and an obstacle that does not often receive much attention. In this series, we hope to shed more light on this issue and make connections between child care and homelessness.
"July 2012 has been designated as National HIV Awareness Month. The goal of National HIV Awareness Month is to re-ignite our national discourse on the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic in order to create broad-scale public awareness of HIV/AIDS, end HIV stigma and discrimination and engage new stakeholders in the fight against the disease, with the ultimate goal of ending the epidemic." Learn more HERE.
"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.