A Lamont Homes “5 in 5” featuring Michelé Wright
Lamont Homes is dedicated to providing residential services to Washington D.C.’s most vulnerable residents. We pride ourselves on building strong, supportive communities. What follows is a 5 minute, 5 question interview from a member of our community: Michelé Wright, a volunteer and community activist.
Question #1: WHO are you?
My name is Michelé Wright. I am 28 years old, I’m from Prince George’s County Maryland, and I have a background in Social Work.
Question #2: WHERE do you work?
I work with Community of Hope. We’re a nonprofit organization in Washington DC. I work with the Rapid Rehousing Program there. And outside of that I also work with a nonprofit called Education Plus 2 where we serve low income families in the District who may suffer from different social ills and who may live below the poverty line. I’ve been at Community of Hope for about three years, and I’ve been with Education Plus 2 for about seven years now.
Question #3: WHAT inspired you to raise funds for this community and donate much-needed winter gear?
Well as you now know, my background is in Social Work. I have a Masters Degree in Social Work from Howard University, and my belief is that part of the reason I’m here on earth is to serve. I’ve organized different events in the past for individuals and families who may live below the poverty line, so this was nothing new to me. I’ve always loved to serve and give back. But while those events I’ve organized in the past were geared toward the homeless population, this time around I wanted to do something different. So I reached out to my mentor, Dr. Velva Taylor Spriggs, who is also a social worker with various agencies. I went to her with my idea and she told me to get in contact with a number of specific agencies; one of them was Family Links, which supports the residents Lamont Homes also serves. When I learned that your residents experience mental illness, and given my background working with similar populations, I knew these were the individuals I wanted to serve this time around.
I knew that many of these individuals would be considered what’s been termed “The Forgotten Population,” which is very unfortunate. I wanted them to know that they are not forgotten, that they do have people in their community who are rooting for them, who will stand in the gap for them, who will advocate for them, and who will help provide for them. I wanted them to understand that. Some people don’t understand the severity of mental illness, and how it can really shift an entire household. Sometimes it takes people from the community to come in and help those families, because it can be too much on mom or dad, or grandma, or daughter, or son. So it takes individuals from the community to come in and say “hey, look, we can come in and provide some assistance.”
Question #4: WHY are you driven to serve?
Serving is in my heart. I see it as me being used by God. To give you some background, when I was younger, when my mom, myself, and my brother would leave Church, there was a man who lived outside of the local 711. My mom would often take us to get him KFC, and I remember then, as a kid, something inside of me I couldn’t quite identify. It was like I could feel is his struggle, and seeing my mom helping him, I thought that was something I wanted to do, but not quite sure how, being as young as I was. So now, to this day at 28 years old, when I see a person in need, I still have that same feeling that I had as a kid, when my purpose was awakening out of me. Now that I’m older, it has come to fruition, and I’m just doing what I’m called to do.
Question #5: HOW can people support you and your efforts to serve the community?
I’m always hosting different events that I feel would benefit individuals of different populations in the community. Right now – I can’t say too much about it! – but I’m developing an organization, and once it’s out there, I’ll be sure to connect with Lamont Homes to help spread the word. In the meantime, if people want to follow me on my Instagram page – where I promote a lot of information about mental illness, mental health, events that I host within the community (some of which are virtual now because of COVID) – my Instagram is @_thatsmich.