It is a great pleasure to report the success of one of our IE Recuperative Care graduates, Andra, aka “Everybody’s Street Mama.” Ms. Williams had experienced over 4 years of homelessness in Riverside County. Even though she was in a tough situation, she was still an active community advocate to those sharing the streets with her.
Prior to her entering Recuperative Care, Andra was discharged from Riverside Community Hospital after being pepper sprayed in the face during an altercation, which resulted in issues of shortness of breath and near blindness. With a safe place to stay in the program, she was able to recover from the shortness of breath and was connected to all the specialists needed to secure a date for eye surgery. Ms. Williams had also been approved for Permanent Supportive Housing through the Path of Life Ministries several months prior to her entering into Recuperative Care, but was experiencing all the discouragement from landlords that came with securing a unit with limited income and credit.
One apartment application after the other and continuous landlord denials eventually built frustration within Andra, and she lost hope. As time was running out with minimal bridge housing options, and she began to become medically stable, the advocacy of IF’s Case Management team for her became crucial.
With Illumination Foundation refusing to send this client back to the streets and with the cooperation of Path of Life’s Community Shelter, the gap of housing was bridged and Andra was allowed to stay until a unit was secured. With IF staff’s help and Andra’s unfailing determination, an apartment was finally secured, utilities were turned on, and a move-in date was in place! Two months after her program exit date and move-in date into her very own apartment, Andra Williams made her appearance back at the shelter as a proud and encouraging volunteer. She continues to be, “Everybody’s Street Mama,” serving those in need and giving back to those who gave to her in times of her own need.