From our Community
Triumphing Over Homelessness
At the age of nine, waiting to be thrown out of a motel and desperately trying to find a homeless shelter to take her in, Nikki Johnson-Huston promised herself her life would be different to that of her mother, passed out drunk on the bed. She, her brother, and mother lived homeless for nearly a year. They slept in motels, shelters, and on the street, ate in soup kitchens or starved in the cold.
Then came Nikki’s big break. Her disabled grandmother offered to take them in. Nikki grew up in poverty, but she had a roof over her head. By her senior year, she had earned a college scholarship to St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. It looked like she’d succeeded in overcoming her experiences, right up until she flunked out in her first year.
It would have been easy to give up at that point, but this courageous young woman was determined not to live her life in poverty. She got a job as a live-in nanny, studied at night school, and counted her blessings that she got a second chance. She progressed to Temple University’s Beasley School of Law and is now an award-winning attorney. Talk about motivational stories!
Her brother’s life provides a stark contrast. He was unable to shake the demons from their childhood and is still homeless. Addicted to drugs and suffering from HIV, he is beyond Nikki’s help.
Nikki told her story to the Huffington Post and believes that she has an obligation to share it. Only then will she be able to show other young people that they can overcome poverty, that they are not destined to live the life they find themselves in now.
It is a sentiment we share here at First Candidate, and is the reason why First Ink exists. Millions of American families are living in poverty today, let’s show them that there is a way out.