An Advocate for Families and Kids’ Healthy Sleep
“Community is unity, unapologetic unity,” according to Lisa Williams-Rolle. “It’s not about race, economic status—we all bleed the same, so community means transparency, and not discriminating. Community shares knowledge.”
Lisa Williams-Rolle is one of the many people in My Very Own Bed’s network who helps connect us with families in our community. Lisa is a Community Resource Liaison with the Minneapolis Public Schools, the board president of Edith’s House (an organization serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the Twin Cities), a Family Coordinated Entry Leadership Committee member, a board member for several other organizations, and Outreach Director for Impact Living Christian Center.
With a background as a paralegal and lobbyist, she is a fearless community advocate with the resources to connect individuals and families with organizations that can support their unique needs. In her 800 West Broadway office she works alongside NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center and CareerForce, two critical human services organizations in North Minneapolis. Her ability to research, find support services, and fight for her clients’ needs has made her a go-to advocate for Twin Cities families and individuals.
A single mom was squatting in a house with three kids. Little did she know she was sleeping next to needles every night. Through word of mouth she connected with Lisa who helped her find a job and got her kids into school. Lisa connected her with Target to get blankets and Bridging to get furniture, and then reached out to Ashley Furniture to get pillow-top beds. Lisa found the owner of the house she had been squatting in who let her stay rent free for a year and eventually sold her the house for almost nothing. This is just one life Lisa has touched. “I will work with a minimum of 70 families a month face-to-face,” she says.
“So many of my clients sleep on the floor and so many of my clients’ kids never had their own bed before.” One of her clients told her about My Very Own Bed where she now refers families whose kids need beds of their own. “Being a part of My Very Own Bed is a blessing and an honor.” Her favorite part of working with My Very Own Bed is “the compassion of the people.” She says, “Michael legitimately wants to help the kids and takes pride in that. It penetrates his heart.”
Lisa sees first-hand the impact new beds have on kids. “It gives kids a sense of ownership. I believe for a fact that it gives them a sense of responsibility, because they make their own beds. They take pride in that. And now you’re connecting them to ownership. It’s huge. Watching Michael and volunteers put together the beds is huge.”
She also hears from teachers how much difference a good night sleep makes. “If kids sleep on the floor, their bodies ache and they fall asleep in school.”
Lisa will take on any type of client, and if she doesn’t know how to meet their needs, she’ll find a way. “I have compassion for this. This is my purpose. I’m not here for the money. My dad told me to work everywhere until you find your niche.”
“We need more people like Lisa in our community,” says Michael Allen, Executive Director and Founder of My Very Own Bed. “She is everyone's neighbor and we are fortunate to have her as a referral partner.”
“So many of my clients sleep on the floor and so many of my clients’ kids never had their own bed before.” — Lisa Williams-Rolle
OUR REFERRAL PARTNERS
Referral partners guide us toward children who could benefit from a new bed. My Very Own Bed partners with the following well-established programs that work with children and families throughout the Twin Cities metro area:
Ain Dah Yung Center, Amherst Wilder Foundation, Anoka Hennepin Public Schools, Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, Community Action St. Paul, East Side Neighborhood Services, Haven Housing, Hennepin County Parent Support Outreach, Interfaith Outreach, Jewish Family Services, Lisa Williams-Rolle, Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association, Project for Pride & Living, Project REACH, Simpson Housing Services, Haven Housing, Neighborhood House, St. Stephen’s, Stable Homes Stables Schools, The Link, Tubman, Washburn Center for Children, YMCA of Greater Twin Cities Coon Rapids, Goodwill Easter Seals, CLUES & YouthLink
Contact us if you’re interested in becoming a referral partner.