Meet Way to Go Woman! Amanda Mills – “I Knew that I Was Called to Give Back…”
Amanda Mills, 33
Family: Isaac, son; Lorianna, daughter
Amanda Mills is giving the homeless community a chance to start a new and better life through her nonprofit organization Southend Street Angels, Inc. The organization provides meals, basic necessities, and services to people living in southern Jefferson County. “We try to help families in the community who have faced hardships and may need a hand up such as a food box or bill assistance without prejudice,” Amanda says.
At age 3, Amanda experienced homelessness when her mother had to seek refuge from domestic violence. She says it became the impetus behind founding her organization. “I knew — as I had experienced homelessness myself — that I had to do something. If it had not been for a few awesome people who believed in me when I did not believe in myself, I have no idea where I would be,” she says.
Angel in Disguise
“I studied to become a probation officer, and because of the cards I was dealt in life, I knew that I was called to give back. So I left the justice and public safety field and decided to work with social services and nonprofits.
“Since making the career change, I have helped with the mayor’s encampment task force, advocated for the 21-day posted notices’ city ordinance, and advocated for more financial resources that led to the first low barrier shelter being opened. Within my nonprofit organization we serve approximately 150 people each week. Because of our services, rapport has been built and we have seen 21 people enter into recovery, families reunited, and watched people transform their lives so much that they are involved in giving back today as well.”
“My future goals include expanding my nonprofit organization to offer services to those who are most vulnerable in all parts of Jefferson County. I want to continue to build community partnerships and improve communications not only with city leaders, but on a state and federal level as well.”
“I encourage people to get involved in local ministries, outreach programs, and if there are not any nearby, then start one themselves.”