Crossroads Staff | Isis Wilson
When you hear the word “team” a lot can come to mind, depending on your life experience. In our world at Crossroads, this word carries with it the theme of family, diversity, strength, collaboration and much more. One of our teammates is Isis Wilson. Isis is a transplant to Atlanta, Georgia from the bay area of California. Growing up in a single parent household led by her mother, she was mildly aware of some challenges her family faced, but in many ways she was unaware of just how hard her mother worked to provide a loving and safe environment for her. It was in this environment that she began to develop a mindset and desire to help others but never in a formal career capacity. As she grew and began to embrace her own queer identity, deciding how to exist in it around others, it became clearer that she desired others to feel cared for, heard and supported.
Entering university, she initially focused in on Child Psychology but later changed to Liberal Studies with the intent of jumping into social services as it had a broadness to it which would allow for many areas of impact and exploration. Nearing graduation, she began to search for graduate school options and had a desire to further explore and understand her black identity. Her mother was Latina and her father Black, but she had no connection with her father so her childhood experience centered primarily around the Latino community and culture and she felt a draw to understand more of her black history. She searched around and found the right program, at the right school, and in the right city, Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Naturally this was going to be a major shift in so many ways, but it was a step she knew she needed to take.
While in graduate school, pursuing her master’s in social work, the passion surrounding homelessness began to grow. From both courses and internships, she began to see her life experience growing up in a single parent household with limited resources play out more and more through those seeking support. She noticed a dipropionate of these individuals being people of color with very limited, if any opportunities to gain stability. It was during this time; she began to focus in on working towards ending the episode of homelessness for one person or household at a time. After completing her MSW, she secured a contracted position through United Way here at Crossroads which would lead to her coming on full-time as a Door-To-Door Case Manager and now overseeing the entire Door-To-Door Housing Initiative. She shared what drew her to Crossroads and remain is the overall sense of community among staff and guests, the value we place on treating our guests as individuals rather than problems to be solved or numbers we track in a database, and lastly the freedom she is given to be herself and have agency to lead as she needs to.
Not all spaces give such freedom or hold such values, but with the leadership Crossroads has and with great, unique, caring and experienced teammates like Isis, we truly will accomplish our mission by helping our resilient guests walk on a path towards personal and economic stability. Isis reminds us that behind every person is a story, and that’s true for our brothers and sisters we pass by daily asking for someone to see them.