James (not his real name), an Anne Frank House resident since 2004, has been called "the best of Washington DC's street poets." James says the most interesting years of his life started in the winter of 2001 when he found himself homeless on the streets of Washington, cold, hungry and scared. After a few weeks on the streets, James discovered the creative writing group at Miriam's Kitchen, a soup kitchen that serves breakfast to the hungry and homeless in DC. The group provided James with a network of friends who also were homeless and wrote poetry. Anne Frank House gave him a safe and stable place to live and to pursue his poetry. Our partner, Friendship Place, gives James the social services and support he needs.
Victoria (not her real name) was in her mid-30s and working successfully at a major international organization when her mental illness presented its first symptoms. It would eventually cost Victoria her career and land her in a decades-long cycle of joblessness, poverty and homelessness. In 2007, an apartment and support became available to her through Anne Frank House. Victoria's years of struggle to regain her dignity and self-respect reached a turning point. According to Victoria, “Anne Frank House restored the middle-class life I’d lost to mental illness."
Robert (not his real name), once homeless for 30 years, works with Friendship Place’s outreach program designed to find homeless people and help get them off the streets and into a support system. Robert also speaks to numerous organizations and schools. His audiences are always fascinated by the story of his life. His advocacy for organizations fighting homelessness is an invaluable resource in raising awareness wherever he speaks. Robert has gone from homelessness to finding a home and a sense of self-worth with the help of Anne Frank House and its partner organizations. An Anne Frank House resident since 2003, Robert is surmounting the challenges posed by his own difficult childhood and years of homelessness and helping to address the problems of those still homeless throughout our city.