#onassignment: A home of her own, York, Pennsylvania
April 19, 2017 by Chris Dunn
When reporter Brett began working on a story about Bell Family Shelter, he envisioned featuring several clients representing different ways the shelter helped them get back on their feet.
When we learned more about Morgan Washington-Henry — who spent her childhood living with relatives, in foster care and in group homes, who had never had her own place til now, who slept and ate on a thick comforter on the floor of her first apartment, who smiled brightly in spite of it all — the story became hers.
After we ran Morgan’s story at the end of October, donations poured in for her and for the shelter. Even as recently as last week, I received a voicemail from someone wanting to donate furniture to her. From the beginning, we’ve been referring readers to the Bell Family Shelter, in order to protect Morgan’s privacy, but it’s heartening to see the compassion and generosity generated by her story.
You can view the complete photo gallery here, read Brett’s story here and watch my video here.
© 2016 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Morgan Washington-Henry loads up a cart with items to bring to her new apartment from Bell Family Shelter in York Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. Washington-Henry, 19, and her four older siblings lived with their grandmother in Harford County, Maryland, until she died when Washington-Henry was 12. Washington-Henry spent the next five years living with a relative, in foster care and a group home until she aged out of the state’s system. After couch-surfing with friends and working at a York County summer camp, Washington-Henry was referred to Bell Family Shelter in York, where she stayed for 27 days before finally moving into an apartment of her own for the first time.
© 2016 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Morgan Washington-Henry glances at her reflection on her new apartment’s bathroom mirror as she unpacks Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, in York.
© 2016 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Morgan Washington-Henry removes her shoes after returning home from work Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 in York.
© 2016 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. A collection of dolls and stuffed animals given to Morgan Washington-Henry over the years is nestled inside a mantel in her York apartment Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016.
© 2016 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Sitting on the comforter that’s been her bed for the past month, Morgan Washington-Henry says grace over a take-out container of food a friend bought for her in her York apartment Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. She plans to get a bed and mattress in the next week.
© 2016 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Morgan Washington-Henry reflects on her day at work between bites of dinner in her York apartment Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016.