Johnitta experienced a lifetime of abuse from her family members, which caused ongoing anxiety and trauma. She recognized that she needed support and stability in order to change the trajectory of her life and the lives of her children. After months of unstable housing with her children, she was referred to Warren Village First Step.
“I recall pulling up to the First Step house for my interview, and immediately felt a sense of home, with the lush gardens and sunflowers,” said Johnitta. After learning more about the program and what it offered in terms of support and safe housing for her family, she was ready to move in. When she learned that volunteers from Frontline Farming, which sits adjacent to the property, regularly bringing fresh vegetables over for the residents, Johnitta felt a sense of community that had been lacking in her life. She realized Warren Village First Step was not just a place to rest her head, but a home and a place she and her kids could have a physical space that was theirs where they could shower regularly and be able to accumulate belongings once again.
Johnitta embraced every opportunity that First Step offered, including the Life Skills Classes, which taught her valuable personal organization skills, goal setting, and mindfulness exercises. Every aspect of living at First Step gave Johnitta the skills she needed to cross the bridge to self-sufficiency. While working with her advocates there was always an open door and a listening ear. “My advocates helped me develop a clear plan, process, and resources which lessened my fears. First Step gave me a voice, at a time when I could not speak for myself!”
Fast forward: Johnitta is currently living in a cute 3 story townhouse through Denver Housing Authority (DHA). She takes her children on weekly adventures to enhance their learning and educational needs. She is pursuing her passion of educating others about holistic living and nutrition as an active DHA community member. She plans on developing programs and working closely with Frontline Farming to advocate for food equity and access.