Gwen had been a victim of domestic abuse for many years. One day she was afraid and feared for her life and she realized that she could no longer survive in her situation so she left the place where she was living. She ended up living outside a shed she knew of in the neighborhood.
One day she was at the general relief office and she met a man who told her about the Dome Village. He brought her to the village to fill out an application. The man found out where Gwen was staying and kept in touch with her until an opening was available at the Dome Village.
When Gwen first arrived at the Dome Village she was very shy and fearful. It took her a while but she began to have some hope again and started to involve herself in Dome Village activities and programs. She began to have some positive relationships and her self esteem began to grow. Dome Village staff helped her to get regular mental health counseling and help with her medical issues. She also was able to get a set of dentures which she desperately needed... and with the new teeth came a more confident and stronger Gwen. And her speech improved dramatically as well.
Gwen found out that she actually had a lot of talents and even leadership qualities that she had never considered. She dug in to many programs. She learned computers and began to correspond with family members who she hadn't been in touch with for many years.
She became the chairwoman of the Dome Village Store. With the money the Dome Village Store raised, Gwen helped to organize Easter Egg Hunts & Parties at the Dome Village for the children who lived in and near the Village.
Her activities also included being a star student in regular art classes with June, Katherine & Ronda. And it was Gwen's idea that the art program create posters about the National Homeless Plan Campaign to be placed on buses around LA.
Gwen also enthusiastically worked as a vendor for the "Big Issue' homeless newspaper. She never missed an opportunity.
With the help of Dome Village staff Gwen was able to make a successful application to a subsidized permanent housing situation called "A Community Of Friends" where she now has he own small apartment.
Gwen still calls and stops by the Dome Village from time to time to visit and share her appreciation for the opportunities that Dome Village gave her.