Jalisa Williams, who lived at St. Joseph’s House in the York Street Project as a child, is now helping families in the same situation.
Jersey City — Jalisa Williams went from living with her mother and siblings at St. Joseph’s House in the York Street Project in Jersey City to now helping families in the same situation at the shelter that helped her.
Williams was 3 years old when he moved there 25 years ago.
“I remember me and my brother interacting with the staff and the things they did for us for Christmas and Easter,” Williams said.
With the stability that St. Joseph’s House provided her family, Williams graduated from Rutgers University and landed her dream job as a family affairs manager at the York Street Project.
“I see a lot of people who are on the client list here right now, and I look at them, and I don’t want to say I see myself in them, but I understand what they’re going through,” Williams said.
St. Joseph’s House is among several family crisis services offered by the nonprofit organization.
The York Street project offers long-term and short-term housing for families and mothers-to-be.
“It’s about food, case management, trauma-informed therapy, employment and career preparation,” said Christine Kane-Perez, director of development for the York Street Project.
Preschool education has been evolving long after Williams was a student.
Hundreds of families have returned to stability, and Williams wasn’t the only witness.
New Jersey native and philanthropist Cool Key has built a multi-million dollar sneaker and apparel empire. Key donated thousands of dollars worth of items to children at St. Joseph.
“We had people in our family who needed these services, and we decided to give back, and they helped us,” said David Timmons, spokesman for the York Street Project.
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