Community Spotlight – Mommas Safe Haven
Our spotlight this month catches up with longtime community organization, Mommas Safe Haven.
Momma’s Safe Haven is a nonprofit organization founded by Ms. Beverly Smith to support the needs of her community and provides community-based programs to empower youth.
We were excited to speak with Beverly Smith, President/CEO and Founder of Mommas Safe Haven about this great organization and its work within the community.
When you think of Ward 8, what comes to mind?
[Beverly Smith] Definitely, survivors and overcomers.
What do you believe are the greatest strengths of Ward 8?
The greatest strengths of Ward 8 has to be our rich African American culture and convenience to the city.
What is your favorite thing about Ward 8?
My favorite thing about Ward 8 – is that I get to call it home! I've been here my entire life and I love the culture – from the way we talk and the way we walk to mumbo sauce on our chicken and our deniable love for go-go music.
What do people need most in Ward 8?
More access to some essential resources, such as a drug rehabilitation center, coping skills and empowerment workshops.
How has the community changed since you’ve been here?
The community has been on a rollercoaster ride of changes since the 1970's. I remember block parties when the community was a village and where everybody looked out for each other. Fast forward to the 2000’s and we now have our youth enrolling in college and we are on the rise to recovery and discovery.
What do you see as your role within the community?
I see my role in the community as an educator. My passion is working with the youth. I believe in leading by example and my life as a living testimony.
What do you want the greater DC area to know about Ward 8?
I would love for them to know that we have the same safety concerns as everyone else. We want good schools for our children and a healthy grocery store for our family.
What could other people do to make Ward 8 a better place for everyone?
To try to understand the culture and the history of Ward 8 and its residents.
What are your hopes for Ward 8 in the future?
For every resident to have equal opportunities, no matter their income level.
How do you think the new Entertainment and Sports Arena will benefit Ward 8?
The Entertainment and Sports Arena will be a great benefit for Ward 8 if it brings more jobs and more resources for its natives.