Ms. Matthews and her son Jaylen were the first mother and child to move into Hope House Apartments, the temporary housing units run by Community of Hope. Ms. Matthews had been in rehab for drug addiction; after a year of being clean she learned she had cancer. She was determined to turn her life around. She was recommended to the new apartments at Hope Apartments. After being interviewed, she was accepted into the program. "It's typically hard for those coming out of rehabilitation to get housing and treatment," says Kelly Sweeney McShane, Executive Director of Community of Hope.
As part of the Hope Apartment community, Ms. Matthews' life changed for the better. (Read her testimony for the committee on Human Services Oversight Hearing, Department of Human Services.)
"I'm so happy that I had another chance to get my life back," she says. Community of Hope also helped Ms. Matthews get a scholarship for her son to go to a private school in Southeast DC.
Now Ms. Matthews has moved into permanent housing, yet she still stays connected to Community of Hope. "I'm still over there like I live there," she says. She volunteers with art programs and plans to work with new clients coming in to help them with their own life transitions. "I want to help people that are struggling," she says. "If I did it, anyone can do it."