By Danielle Miller
Bianca Williams, a 25- year-old community activist and founder of Cry for Help Foundation, held a grand opening celebration for her foundation’s community safe haven and resource center for youth within the Milwaukee community on April 3, 2017.
“No matter where you come from, it doesn’t mean you have to stay there,” Williams said about her foundation’s mission to help local youth. “Good things can happen.”
Cry for Help Foundation’s new Youth Employment and Resource Center, located at 4512 W. Burleigh St, gives youth a place to go, Williams said. The resource center has been accepting donations such as hygiene products, clothes, and other daily necessities for kids who otherwise don’t have access to.
“I’m hoping for a bigger future,” Williams said. “My goal is to reach out to youth, help bring down crime [and] help with education.”
Williams hopes to support youth who feel stuck in a bad situation, or who are bullied for not having what their peers have, and in turn help give hope back to those who would otherwise turn to crime.
Tone Da’Man, a native Milwaukee member and founder of TDM Promotions, held Above the Rim, a charity basketball tournament in which all proceeds went to Cry for Help Foundation. Event organizers stopped by Monday to present Williams with a check to help the foundation grow.
The foundation was set up to help show youth alternatives, offering young people one-on-one counseling, mentorships and job opportunities.
Williams said that if she had a safe haven when she was younger, her path could have been drastically different. William’s wants to extend the opportunity of a safe place for youth in the community.
Laura Johnson, friend and supporter of Williams, came to the resource center to encourage Williams.
“I think it’s an awesome project,” Johnson said. “There is a need [and the] youth will have a safe place [to go].”
The foundation volunteers and donations, will hold programs such as a community book club every Saturday, which beginning back in February. “[There] is a lot of violence,” Johnson said regarding the issues many Milwaukee communities have been facing. “[It’s] good to know you have another option.” The foundation also has three billboards that will go up around the community to bring awareness to the “Stollies” trend. Young teens in the area have stolen cars as a status symbol, a fad in which Williams has worked to bring attention to, in hopes to end it.
A Cry for Help will open a second location on May 12 at 4827 W. Center St. All locations give youth community service opportunities, such as clean ups, lawn mowing and preparing food for the homeless.
“They need help now,” Williams said regarding the local youth. “You can’t wait for something to happen to open up your doors.”