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Over the past three decades, Housing Up’s affordable housing and support services have transformed the lives of the District’s most vulnerable residents. From serving 13 families to more than 900 households in the city, seeing the power of affordable housing inspires us to continue helping our community thrive.

After last talking to Housing Up client Asia in 2020, she and her nearly eight-year-old daughter Ayesha have continued to transform their lives. Asia and Ayesha were living in a one-bedroom apartment at Webster Gardens, one of our affordable housing communities, and were able to move into a two-bedroom apartment within Webster in October 2022. Asia said it took some time to realize she now had her own bedroom. In their last apartment, Asia gave her daughter the bedroom and divided the living room into her living space. 

“To me, being a mom means in one word, I would say ‘sacrifice,’” Asia said. “I wouldn’t say you put yourself last, but you will choose your kid and their happiness over anything.” 

Asia and Ayesha enjoy the programming and facilities at Webster Gardens. Ayesha likes computer time, gardening in Webster’s community garden, and coloring. 

“She can have friends and do activities right in the facility, right downstairs, so I like that,” Asia said about having resident services programming accessible in their apartment building. 

Asia grew up poor in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and when asked about the power of safe and affordable housing, she paused and said she might get emotional. She described how it enabled her to “break the generational curse of poverty.” 

“When I was growing up, I never thought that I, I can say woman now, but a girl of color, could live in DC in a neighborhood like this in whatever the opposite of dysfunctional is,” Asia said. “I had a chance to prove to myself, and to anybody else, it is possible to break the generational curse of poverty. I’m not a millionaire, but my kid can be happy. I can come and go, and go to the grocery store down the street, the doctor’s office is right there, you know, live normal.”

Asia is looking forward to finishing her schooling in aesthetics this fall and hopes to work in a clinical setting under a dermatologist. She now has her drivers license and feels like she has grown as a person in her home.

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