Stories From the Movement: Meet Erica
Erica Moseley is not going to let a pandemic stop her. After experiencing homelessness throughout her childhood, she knew that it was more important than ever to connect people and families experiencing homelessness to the services and resources they need to survive this public health emergency.
She keeps a busy schedule as a one-person outreach machine, and uses her presence in the community to simultaneously make sure nonprofit organizations know what services are needed and get those resources to people experiencing homelessness.
“People on the street aren’t going to ask for what they need until they know they can trust you,” she said.
Her perspective and knowledge of how people experience homelessness demonstrates why it’s so important to prioritize and listen to the voices of people with lived homelessness experience. For Erica, the connection was a natural one and grew out of her experience as a person experiencing homelessness who entered the nonprofit sector as a case manager and outreach worker.
In San Francisco, as many as 2,300 students experience homelessness while going to school, according to district data.
Lately, this bridge-building has moved from the concrete to the classroom – her daughter’s classroom to be specific. In San Francisco, as many as 2,300 students experience homelessness while going to school, according to district data. The scope of this issue became increasingly apparent to the administrators at the school where Erica’s daughter is currently in sixth grade, and they found the ideal advocate in Erica.
Pulling from her experiences growing up, Erica published Trapped in the Homelessness Hustle, a combination biography and homelessness resource manual, and launched her own app, EriCare, which helps Erica connect people experiencing homelessness to the services and resources she knows in the city.
Now, in addition to her work in the Tenderloin, Erica is working with her daughter’s school in the Bayview by connecting students and families experiencing homelessness with resources and helping with school enrollment. Online learning has been challenging for so many families during the pandemic, and that is exacerbated when housing instability is also a factor.
She gathers and distributes supplies like masks, hygiene kits, backpacks, paper, and other school supplies so students can focus on their schoolwork and parents worry a little less about their basic needs. As Erica does for people in the Tenderloin, her daughter has stepped in as a trusted, on-the-ground source for students experiencing homelessness in her school. She tells her mom what the students need, and Erica relays that information to school administrators and community organizations.
“These families don’t just need help at the beginning of the school year or in the middle of the school year, it needs to be ongoing,” she said.
Click here to learn more about Erica Moseley’s efforts to support students
and families experiencing homelessness during the pandemic.
Helping students is just one part of the equation; she helps parents develop the skills necessary to apply for apprenticeships with tech companies in the hopes of increasing the family’s economic stability.
“Masks and hygiene kits are just for right now,” Erica said. “What are you doing to help them become self-sufficient in the future?”