Mattye Berry-Evans, a Member of the Resident Action Network

“Each and every person should have the opportunity to have safe, secure, adequate, and affordable housing. I wasn't able to have it, but I can help others have it.”

As we bring Women’s History Month to a close, take a moment to listen to Mattye Berry-Evans’s story.

Berry-Evans grew up in rural Georgia, and when she was 5, she stood by her grandmother’s side as she fought for adequate housing. “I grew up in a place where we didn’t have any plumbing or other amenities,” Berry-Evans says. “Race played a really a big part in why we did not have the things there. Because they did not provide services in an African-American area.”

Now Berry-Evans lives in Tacoma, Washington, and works for Mercy Housing. She’s also part of the Tacoma chapter of the Resident Action Network, a statewide network led by people who have experienced housing injustice. “It is always right to help people. Do whatever you can to make their life better and make our community better.”

“Each and every person should have the opportunity to have safe, secure, adequate, and affordable housing,” Berry-Evans says, “I wasn’t able to have it, but I can help others have it.”

Have you helped make your community better? Tell us your story in the comments below.


Mattye Berry-Evans’s story is part of Women of Color on the Front Lines, a video series produced by Shelterforce and Community Change. If you’re enjoying this series, please consider becoming a supporter.

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Shelterforce is the only independent, non-academic publication covering the worlds of community development, affordable housing, and neighborhood stabilization.

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