GLENDALE, Ariz. — Right now, more than 13,000 Arizonans are homeless, living on the street, in alleys or parks. That’s according to a recent Housing and Urban Development report.
Nearly 3,000 of those are families with children.
An Arizona woman, who was once homeless herself, has now made it her mission to hit the streets and make a difference.
“I was homeless myself for a year and a half, maybe two,” said Pamela Williams, who remembers the struggle firsthand.
She became homeless after a bad car accident, had her hips replaced and wasn’t able to work.
“There’s a lot of people that may have gone through the same thing that I did,” she said. “…just not out here on the streets because of drugs or alcohol, but because of the circumstances that may have occurred in their lives.”
Fast forward to 2018 - after receiving a lot of support from loved ones and her church community, Pamela started a nonprofit called Journey out of Homelessness.
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“I remember a few places we stayed where I had to put the chair under the doorknob, because I didn’t feel safe,” she said. “It was really hard, so I understand what the community is going through.”
Pamela is giving back to those in need - providing meals and support at least four times a year, helping as many as 200 people during every outreach.
“We want to see some people prosper,” said Williams.
She is currently in the process of developing a campus with an emergency shelter, transitional housing to accommodate 20 individuals and a 24-hour daycare center, long-term help to get people out of homelessness and into permanent housing.
“…and come back and say yes, I did it, I went through the steps and I’m off the streets, I have a good job and I’m on my way to owning my own home if that’s what their desire is,” she said.
Pamela just opened a new office in Glendale, where she has already started collecting donations and meeting with anyone in need of help or guidance on resources.
If you’re interested in donating to her organization or volunteering, just head to: https://journeyoutofhomelessness.org/.
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