Arletha Dawson says her mother, former NCC Douglas Homes resident Beulah Dawson, never turned away a needy person.
Growing up, she recalls her mother opening their home to friends, neighbors and even strangers who needed a place to stay or a hot meal.
“They would be sitting at our kitchen table eating dinner,” Arletha Dawson said. “We had so many adopted sisters and brothers.”
Beulah Dawson’s spirit of giving carried over to Douglas Homes, where she lived from 2006 to 2011. She cooked breakfast for neighbors, fed the homeless on Thanksgiving, actively participated in social outings and even helped acquire a pool table for the community room.
“She wanted to see the building here in a better condition,” Arletha Dawson said. Beulah Dawson passed away in 2011 at age 61, according to her daughter.
“She’s a beautiful person,” said resident Margaret Henry, a friend of Beulah’s. “She’ll give you anything off her back.”
In loving memory of their mother, Arletha and her sister, Sonia, presented Douglas Homes with “Loads of Love,” where they gave away 137 bottles of True detergent donated by the company.
Last year was the first time the family hosted Loads of Love at Douglas Homes and it got much bigger this year. Loads of Love coincided with the building’s annual holiday party and in addition to gifting detergent to each resident, the family provided an ice cream cake and apple cider for the celebration, Care Coordinator Giselle Oviedo said. They also raffled off $6 worth of quarters for laundry.
“If Beulah were here right now, this place would be jumping,” said resident Selena Williams, who met Beulah in 2005 and formed a small social circle with other residents known as the “Pitty Pat Club.”
“She didn’t always have the money but she gave what she had,” Williams added.
Sonia Dawson said her mother, who worked for years as a home health aide to AIDS patients, imbued her children with a sense of giving back to the community. When Beulah came to NCC, she found her community at Douglas Homes.
“She had just such a loving family here at Douglas Homes,” Sonia Dawson said. “It never felt like we were coming to just see her. We were coming to see everybody.”