What Does Success Look Like?
CFH’s 6th Annual Summer Solstice Success Celebration
“‘Formerly homeless.’ Those last two words, so simple, so sweet. When I say them, it sounds victorious; they mean success–in spite of unbelievable hardship–success that can be keenly sensed in the simplest things:
Success is opening the mailbox and seeing a utility bill bearing your name. Success is putting out regular trash on Tuesdays and recyclables on Fridays.
Success is boiling water on YOUR stove, in a glass kettle that you paid $1 for at the Everything Goes thrift shop.
Success is buying TWENTY pints of Haagen-Dazs (because they’re on sale for $2 each and you have 20 “$1 OFF” coupons).
Success is having a freezer for all that ice cream!
Success is coming home — Wait, repeat that: Success is coming home…”
This is an excerpt of the poignant story that our Success Story Writing Contest Winner, Mr. M. A. Dennis shared on June 20th at CFH’s sixth annual Summer Solstice Success Celebration, in partnership with Broadway Community. This uplifting event recognized an outstanding group of people who overcame incredible odds to achieve success in obtaining and maintaining housing, overcoming health care challenges, and advocating for polices to prevent and end homelessness.
We want to recognize our honorees. Our Housing Awards went to three former Susan’s Place residents: Ms. Zuleyka Cordero, Ms. Kymaleeka Devine and Ms. Maggie Barlow. Our Health Care Awards were presented to the Kabore family, the Caprio family, Ms. Patricia Green, Ms. Debra Obeidat, Ms. Vanessa Phillips, Mr. Douglas Wykle and Ms. E. J. Bryant-Mazauskas. The Advocacy Award was presented to the Chair of the CFH Consumer Advisory Board, Ms. Ava Conner, recognizing her incredible leadership in advocating for issues affecting people experiencing homelessness.
Lastly, our Success Story Winner, Mr. M.A. Dennis, who received a heartfelt response from the audience after reading his story that is being shared widely due to its incredible message.
Congratulations to all of our participants who allowed us an opportunity to celebrate their individual stories of success and reminded us that we must continue advocating for increased access to life saving services and opportunities for stable housing for our fellow New Yorkers if we want to end homelessness in New York City.
At the event we had an interactive Wall of Success where attendees could share their own stories of success. One participant shared that after being in shelter for 5 years they moved in to an apartment where they have been for 11 years! Another person shared their story of loss and how they have worked to regain the strength to successfully attain employment.
Participants also had the opportunity to visit our Advocacy Table to get information about current campaigns, register to vote or sign up to receive future advocacy alerts.