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Daily Inspiration: Meet Kayla Mainja

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kayla Mainja. 

Hi Kayla, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Our story is a very unique and special to us. It is named after my grandmother, who was that one old woman in the neighborhood that no matter what, she would help anybody; which led us to Helen’s Project, a nonprofit organization that provides mental health, counseling, peer support, rental, and transportation services to individuals and families from indigent communities. It was founded in 2009 by individuals motivated to rehabilitate substance abuse victims and create a positive recovery and growth roadmap. Since then, it has grown to incorporate full case management, we help ex-offenders looking for ways to reintegrate into society, struggling single moms, HOPE kids working with limited resources, and veterans with mental health problems. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has absolutely not been a smooth road; given the fact that we are a nonprofit organization, we experience quite a few barriers with funding. Because nothing is free even when your intent is to help others that may have troubles helping themselves, we always find a way to make it happen. We have the best donors and volunteers in the city. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
We specialize in bringing HOPE to the community. If you asked someone what we are best known for at Helen’s Project, they would say getting people the help and assistance they need to have a better life. I’m most proud of how effortlessly we bring HOPE to the community. Here at Helen’s Project our work ethic, dedication, and determination to complete our mission is unlike any others; that’s what sets us apart from any other agency. 

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
When we first began our agency, I had no idea that simply trying to help the homeless population would be so political and have so many barriers. I would tell other agencies trying to start a nonprofit to be prepared to deal with the politics of it all and not to give up their hope in serving their community. 

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