WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) - "It takes a village to raise a child."
The famous African proverb describes the philosophy of Jubilee Housing.
The faith-based, low-income housing program creates a supportive community for its family tenants like Karen Salmeron.
Salmeron, 18, will attend Villanova University on a scholarship this fall. She has achieved this feat with the help of Jubilee Housing, a place she has called home since she was 5 years old.
Jubliee Housing provides subsidized housing with eight apartment buildings in Adams Morgan. The non-profit organization has 280 filled apartment units. Many more families are signed up on a long wait list.
"I do recall my mother talking about how hard it was to afford housing...Now that we live in Jubilee, I can see that she works hard and can afford to provide for us at the same time," Salmeron said.
She lives at The Ritz apartment building with her mom and three sisters.
"I have a lot of friends who are happy about my babies, and they really help me a lot," Salmeron's mother, Maria Reyes, said about the caring nature of the Jubilee Housing staff.
Salmeron's three sisters attend after-school programs located right inside the apartment buildings.
"The after-school program they have for us and the neighborhood kids is a good way where I can get my homework done and get tutoring at least once a week," Salmeron said.
Executive Director Jim Knight says the goal is to provide opportunities for a better life.
"The things that we try to provide along with the housing are things that help people build on their
own natural gifts and become the people that they were created to be," Knight said.
Salmeron was Salutatorian of her class at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School. She gives big praise to her Jubilee after-school tutor.
"He was a huge help when it came to applications. We would work on that or other homework.
He was a huge help in just planning and making sure everything was done for college."
All the planning paid off.
"I'm the first in my family to attend college. And it'll be a big step in my life."
NOTE: The Gannett Foundation has given a donation to Jubilee Housing.
Produced By: Elizabeth Jia
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