Alumna Spotlight: Taniya Johnson

Alumna Spotlight: Taniya Johnson

Many women become homeless due to a traumatic life event, a sort of event that many of us could relate to and all of us would find challenging: illness or death of a loved one, loss of a job, a failed relationship or domestic or sexual abuse. The strength it takes to surmount such life curve balls is immense. But NEW alumna, Taniya Johnson was able to find such strength.

“I feel victorious!” she said recently. “I overcame some very hard obstacles.” It was the death of Taniya’s mother and then the dissolution of her marriage shortly there after that left Taniya reeling. “I resorted to drinking,” Taniya said. “And it got really, really bad.” She became homeless. She finally entered an addiction program but she had to convince herself to stay. After 45 days though, she became interested in helping others in their recovery. The only problem was, she still had nowhere to go.

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NEW Alum Petrina Williams: “I Chose Joy.”

Petrina Williams, with her son Jordan Alexander Williams

The words “remarkable” and “survivor” routinely apply to NEW alumna. Even so, Petrina Williams breaks the mold. Like many NEW alumna, Williams, now a NEW board member, has been through challenges that would fell the rest of us. Yet as she talks about her experiences with matter-of-fact honesty, she radiates happiness and a joy for living. For example, her outgoing voicemail message, where you can practically hear her smile, invites you to “Have a great day—on purpose!” No doubt, it is that upbeat attitude that has carried Williams through life. And what a life it has been.  Read more

New Horizons Makeover!

Nearly 200 volunteers from the nonprofit, My Girlfriend’s House, staged a multi-day makeover of NEW’s New Horizons housing program for homeless women and children.

In their largest makeover project to date, My Girlfriend’s House removed old furniture, cleaned, painted, and decorated New Horizons to make it more livable and welcoming for the 17 families and 45 children currently in residence. Volunteers put in a special effort to make the facility and an adjoining backyard more child-friendly and better landscaped. Read more