The WDDC is an unusual place. It's a home, literally. Situated in a residential neighborhood, there's a kitchen with two volunteers cooking barbequed pork and yams, a living room with sofas and chairs and books, a dining area, and then several rooms devoted for client consultations and offices. The home is old, but still, it's a home. It feels comfortable and welcoming. Instantly upon my arrival, at least three people bid me hello and ask me if I need help. I can't tell if they're working there or the clientele.
I'm taken around and introduced to everyone. I tell them I'm there to collect stories, to listen, to take photos. I tell them I'm with Help A Mother Out, and that we help donate diapers here. Women who don't even have kids thank me for the diapers. Everyone realizes here that any assistance and outpouring of help benefits them all. Janika especially is so grateful for the diapers. She says," I haven't had to worry about diapers at all since the baby was born. Thank you!"
Some of the women are shy. They don't want to talk or have their photo taken. A couple others want me to teach them photography. We sit around the long tables while they eat their lunches and they talk about finishing school, finding new homes, getting jobs.
I will be back.
WDDC provides ongoing and intensive counseling, case management services, daily support groups, a comprehensive children's program, a variety of referral services, and a transitional housing program for for single-parent families.
Due to cutbacks, WDDC has had to lay off two key employees, one a counselor for the children.
You can read more about WDDC here and more about Help A Mother Out here.
You can donate diapers online to WDDC or other Bay Area nonprofits here.
You can read more about our diaper drive and awareness raising efforts here.