NEW Alum Finally Graduates, Inspires Own Kids To Continue Education

Belinda Whitfield holds up her diploma on graduation day - at long last!
                          Belinda on Graduation Day!

Here’s what the staff at NEW will tell you: Some homeless people may be a bit too broken to put back together. But a large number are no any different than you and me. The difference is they didn’t have someone to help them back up in time after the last hurdle. They’re fully aware of what needs to be done to resolve their situation. They just haven’t had a chance to catch their breath yet because they’re too busy surviving. And through it all, they remain determined and hard working, and value an education if they don’t have one.

In other words, they’re like Belinda Whitfield. Read more

Cynthia Rowe: Busting Stereotypes, Doing The Work, And Prevailing

image courtesy of Andrea Vallejos/Flickr Creative Commons
image courtesy of Andrea Vallejos/Flickr Creative Commons

Cynthia Rowe — who will be recognized with the NEW Light Alumna Award at our gala next month — busts many stereotypes that persist about the homeless. She is educated, has a daughter about to graduate college, worked at big name companies that provided retirement plans. She comes from a large family with whom she is still very much in touch. And although she may not have had a consistent roof over her head while homeless, she was never without safe shelter. “I couch-surfed,” she says matter-of-factly.

So what is her story? How does someone with that many factors in favor of stability come to NEW? Read more

Annette Dupre: Focus, Fellowship, And Determination

Annette Dupre (all rights reserved)

Annette Dupre sounds happy on the phone. You can hear her smile, and feel the easy humor that comes through. This, despite having lived a lot more in 40-something years than most of us do in a lifetime.

Dupre, a licensed massage therapist in Georgia, is a NEW alum who had already grappled with homelessness when she first arrived at our doors at the end of 2009. In junior year of high school, she found herself homeless for a week, sleeping on park benches and showering in the school gym before anyone else came in until a friend’s parent found her and offered her safe shelter. Read more