Spreading their wings: A metamorphosis from homelessness to home
Butterfly-The butterfly symbolizes the process of development and evolution. The butterfly reminds us that it takes courage and intention to create significant change in our lives. It means rethinking the way we live our lives and creating new beginnings.
At just 15 years old, Anyia and her mother Aliz found themselves homeless. Aliz unexpectedly lost her job, leaving the family with no income. Shortly after they lost their home.
For a while, they stayed with family and friends, constantly bouncing around from household to household, couch to couch. Tired of endlessly moving around, Aliz and Aniyah knew they had to make a change.
Staying in shelter
Anyia and Aliz came to Crossroads, unsure of what to expect. Together they stayed in Crossroads' Family Room at 160 Broad Street for a few days before moving into Crossroads' Warwick Family Shelter.
"Staying in shelter was difficult for both of us, but it was a blessing that I wasn't going house to house," recalls Aliz. "I had taken things for granted, like my own bed. Things that, today, I treasure."
Anyia and Aliz stayed in the Warwick shelter for four months.
During that time, Anyia continued to take a bus to get to school in Providence and maintained an A average. Her and her mother Aliz continued to wait patiently until one day, when they received some great news.
Aliz and Anyia move into their new apartment
"I broke into tears when I got the keys to my apartment," said Aliz. "I was also afraid."
The mother and daughter moved into their Central Falls apartment one year ago, happy to have a place to call their own.
Spreading their wings: Where they are today
Now in 9th grade at the Providence Career and Technical Academy, Anyia studies Construction and Masonry. She found her passion in welding, leading her to win the SkillsUSA Rhode Island State Championship for a butterfly sculpture she welded.
"I chose to make a butterfly since they are all different, not the same, like all of us," said Anyia. Next week, she will be attending the annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, to showcase her skills and art with career and technical education students from all over the country.
"This experience has opened my heart, especially to other people in my situation," said Aliz. Proud of their success this year, the mother-daughter duo strive to accomplish even more, more thankful than ever to have a place to call home.