The Space Maker
Executive Director of the Kanawha Valley Collective
Traci Strickland grew up in St. Albans, where, she says, she was a typical suburban kid and until she struggled with substance abuse in her 20s. She’s thankful for her family, who helped her through recovery, and now she dedicates her time to helping those in similar situations.
“What I had was a chance, and what we try to give people every day is a chance,” Strickland says. For the past 19 years, she has worked with people experiencing homelessness. “I don’t ever see myself doing anything else,” she says.
Strickland is passionate about holding space for people, because she wants them to know that they have a place to go when they decide they are ready for housing. “Holding space is a huge part of what drives me,” she says. “If we can hold space for people, that helps make systems a little fairer. Housing shouldn’t be the luck of the draw—it should just be.”
Strickland plans to continue working alongside her colleagues and wife toward her overarching goal of housing people and keeping them housed.
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