Belinda Richey, the Program Director at Maud’s House, sees women struggling with homelessness, addiction, or fleeing abusive relationships. She also sees their determination to step out of the path of despair.
Belinda endured the same circumstances that brought some of these women to her door. She has survived domestic violence. She has been a single mother. She has been homeless. “At one point, I was living in a trailer with no electricity or running water,” She remembers. “I would ask, ‘God, why me?’”
Her VOA career began at the end of 2015 as a homelessness prevention navigator, but when the opportunity to direct Maud’s House in the spring of 2017 came up, she couldn’t get started fast enough. She wrote the program handbook from scratch and hosted activities like birthday parties to make life a little brighter for the residents.
She spends her days reaching out to community leaders, business partners, and donors to secure funds to keep the doors open. This relentless work will see families graduate to employment and a home of their own. And each success is one more bittersweet farewell.
Reflecting on her past to help others build her future, she remarks, “Why me? All these years later, when I got this opportunity at Maud’s House, I said, ‘Oh. That’s why.’ I was being prepared for this.”
Without shelters like Maud’s House, these women – and their children – could become statistics. But Belinda doesn’t do it for recognition. She does it because she knows that the alternative is the one she’s already seen.