BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - More than 1,400 Homeless women and their children find help and hope at First Light Shelter in downtown Birmingham every year. Every night 36 of them will be tucked in to beds in the temporary shelter waiting to transition to permanent housing. There are always more than 36 needing help. Some may sleep on pads on the floor but they are thankful to simply be off the streets in a safe place.
When homeless women walk through the doors of First Light they are met by friendly faces but what they may not realize is they are about to meet their very best friend, Sherry Webb.
Sherry is First Light’s director of Social Services. She has 20 years of experience and a master’s degree in social work. She knows how to take a woman at the worst point in her life and give her guidance to transition into a new, independent life. “We’re able to see that change in them and take them from being homeless with one bag of belongings and move them on to their own apartment. That’s something amazing to watch, especially when you see the change.”
That change is happening all day in quiet conversations as Sherry talks women through the next step, the next program, the next chapter of their lives.
Sherry is especially moved by the homeless children who come through First Light with their mothers. Recently, she watched as some of those children graduated from high school. No one was prouder than Sherry. “They graduated and we were a part of that and to see that progress. They came in one way and we moved them to housing and now they’re getting ready to go to college. You can’t pay to see that.”
Sherry’s passion for the job is clear as tears comes to her eyes. “I tear up because what we do is real. I see it, the change. You can read about this all day but until you’re in it you don’t get that feeling and that joy. I love what I do. I love the work every day. I love and laugh and there are days we cry and are frustrated but if we can laugh and get some women laughing we’ve done good for that day. They hurt and cry a lot so if we can make an impact just one day we’ve done something.”
We salute Sherry Webb who is On Your Side “Doing Good” at First Light Shelter.
To donate or learn more about First Light Shelter follow this link.
If you would like to nominate someone for our “Doing Good” segment follow this link.