By Terrisita Terry
Often parents want to teach their kids to give back and to spend their time and efforts helping others, but don’t know where to start. Moreover, children want to help and enjoy their role in the larger community. Sadie Berman and Qudas Morris, with assistance from their parents, are making a difference by supporting their community and improving the lives of homeless families.
Seven-year-old Sadie Berman has been painting for three years. Her favorite painting is Van Gogh’s Starry Night because the stars give her inspiration and calm. Sadie’s artwork has generated almost $1,000 in sales and the proceeds have been designated to programs and services for homeless families provided by Nicholas House. When asked why she wanted to help homeless families, she replied, “Because I like helping America, I like reinforcing it. It’s like a wall, if a piece of it is missing or broken, you have to fix it in order for it to stay strong.”
Thirteen-year-old Qudus Morris surfed the internet and was inspired when he learned about the community work of Nicholas House. In honor of his thirteenth birthday and as part of his rites of passage initiatives, Qudus wanted to do something profound for the community. He started a GoFundMe page for homeless families served by Nicholas House. When asked why he chose Nicholas House he said, “Right now though our lives may be hard due to the pandemic, for families living on the street, life is even harder. Though my goal of $13,000 seems a little ambitious—the sky is the limit.” To date, Qudus has raised $7,841. “The special acts of kindness from Sadie and Qudus are amazing and Nicholas House is honored by their desire to help less fortunate children and their parents,” said Dennis Bowman, Executive Director for Nicholas House.
For over 38 years, Nicholas House has provided comprehensive housing and case management services to more than 13,000 homeless parents and children. Each night, Nicholas House serves over 300 homeless children and their parents. We help homeless families improve their skills and education to earn a living wage, maintain a healthy home environment, and sustain their own housing. We accept any family composition and size. We hold families accountable with specific goals, action steps and evaluations. We focus on long-term outcomes, following families for two years after they leave programs to ensure long-term impact. As a result, 90% of families served maintain their own permanent housing a year or more after leaving the program.
For more information about Nicholas House, please visit www.nicholashouse.org. Dennis Bowman is available for interviews regarding Nicholas House’s COVID-19 response and impact on homeless families.