Updated: Aug 25
My name is Vernica Williams and this is my story.
In the late 90s, I became homeless with my five-year-old son. In 2005, I was given the opportunity to become an employee, having to check not only the room my child and I slept as a family experiencing homelessness, but eight others. In 2019, I was asked to be a board member to share the responsibility for the same house I lived in as a homeless woman and worked in years after. The program was then named Wayne Hall; the new name is Life Turning Point of Philadelphia.
But that is the highlight reel. Here’s the bridge that led me here.
I was molested around the age of two by my grandfather. I never knew my father. At 18, rejection deepened as I overheard my father’s conversation with my mother as he struggled to remember my name. As a preteen living in poverty, I was introduced to my mother's diagnosis of schizophrenia. During the night, my childhood monsters continued to speak as I heard screaming and banging on the walls coming from my mother's bedroom. Several years later, I gave my body to anyone who wanted it. I longed to be loved and desperately seen, so I allowed boys and men to take advantage of me for their pleasure and
I became a single parent in my early twenties, catapulting the reality of living in survival mode. Close to the end of my twenties through the beginning of my thirties, I became a wife, and by God’s grace, I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Human Services while my mother was slowly dying from kidney disease. Unfortunately, life had secrets to reveal that resulted in ten years of reoccurring trauma and healing from manipulation and emotional abuse. In 2012 I filed for divorce, becoming a single mother for the second time with a second child. The same year the divorce was finalized, I graduated with my Master of Social Work in 2017.
In the summer of 2020, I didn't know then, but that's when my journey to reclaim my voice began. I began to grow in my relationship with God in a way I've never experienced before and discovered the woman that has always been inside me. God gave me a desire for women to have an intentional relationship with Him, to know who they are, and to experience healing and hope in Him. Embarking on this intentional road of healing, surrender, and hope, I want to share with anyone who will listen. My encouragement to you is this, wherever your story leads you, you also can encounter healing and hope if you keep going and trust in Jesus. Whether you have experienced homelessness, rejection, addiction, grief, or all the above, like me, you are valuable to Jesus. When you are weak, God is strong in you!
I will tell my story because people need to hear it. I will tell my story because my testimony produced good fruit and good ground, and a portion of that is because of the Life Turning Point of Philadelphia program.