Woman who lived in shelter as child now returns to help families in same situation

ByToni Yates Localish logo
Wednesday, January 25, 2023 8:53PM
Woman now working at same shelter she lived in as child
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As a child, she lived there. Now she's helping families in the same way, 25 years later.

JERSEY CITY -- Jalisa Williams went from living at York Street Project's St. Joseph's Home in Jersey City with her mom and siblings to now helping families that are in the same situation at the same shelter that helped her.

Twenty five years ago, Williams was 3 years old when they moved there.

"I remember me and my brother interacting with the staff, the things they did for us for Christmas and Easter," Williams said.

With the stability St. Joseph's Home gave her family, Williams eventually graduated from Rutgers University and landed her dream job as a family case manager with York Street Project.

"I see a lot of people that's here right now on the client list, and I look at them and I don't want to say I see myself in them, but I understand what they are going through," Williams said.

St. Joseph's Home falls under the umbrella of several family crisis services provided by the non-profit.

York Street Project provides long and short term shelters for families and expecting moms.

"It's food, case management, trauma informed therapy, job and career readiness training," Christine Kane-Perez, Director of Development of York Street Project said.

The Pre-K education is still flourishing long after Williams was a student.

Hundreds of families have found their way back to stability and Williams was not the only witness.

New Jersey native and philanthropist Kool Kiy started a now multi-million dollar sneaker and clothing empire. Kiy donated thousands of dollars worth of items to kids at St. Joseph's.

"Our family had people who needed these services and we decided to give back they helped us out," David Timmons of the York Street Project said.