Member Stories

Tyletha Samuels

One of my best memories was the “Waffle” action we ran in 2002—we took four buses down to Washington D.C. to [then Senator] Hillary Clinton’s house—she said she wouldn’t sign anything that would add more hours to workfare, but a week later we heard she’d signed off on a measure to increase hours from 30 to 35 hours per week. She was waffling, so we went up to her house to demonstrate, and leave waffles on her doorstep; someone even wore a waffle costume. 3 days later, she took her name off the list!

Wendy Ceballos

I was asked to speak at CVH’s first anti-poverty meeting in Port Chester. I did a speech in a church about what the After School programs are doing for me. I’m glad my kids are learning there; we need that help. One of our legislators attended; it was so exciting for me—it was the first time I felt heard and I did not want it to end! Something changed inside me that night—we can’t just stay home and do nothing.

Yvonne Shields

New York City Chapter

I am a resident of the Highbridge Gardens public housing development. I was a victim of downsizing at my job and soon there after I became homeless and was receiving public assistance. Public housing became the best option for me, and after a 10 month search I was able to move into Highbridge Garden, and have lived there for 10 years.

Ketny Jean-Francois

New York City Chapter, Co-Chair, CVH Board of Directors

I am a single mother and a former welfare recipient. As a welfare recipient in New York City, I was required to work 5 days a week for eight hours each day for the City in exchange for less than $100 of public assistance money I received every two weeks to care for myself and my 5 year old son. My work consisted of pulling staples and putting documents in boxes.