Nestled between beauty parlors and small businesses sits a brand-new resource center to provide a safe place for children in the community. The decorated windows and translucent black-and-white curtains made the small center seem more like a home than a business, and it was all put together by 26-year-old Milwaukee native, Bianca Williams.
Williams started A Cry for Help Foundation in 2016 and since then has tackled many issues the community has been facing, starting with the trend of youth stealing cars in the area. The “Stollies” campaign was created to raise awareness in the community as well as have members of the community brainstorm ideas of how to stop the issue. Since then, Williams has turned her attention to Sex Trafficking and helping victims get out of the dangerous cycle.
“Alcohol, drugs, prostitution, just different things of that nature,” Williams said about what youth in the community are exposed to. “What do you want to do? Do you want this life style, [because] if you do, this is where you’re going to end up.”
The mother of three wanted to create a positive impact on a community and give children back their childhoods that she says she never had.
“Pretty much every day I can think about, I’ve seen domestic violence,” Williams said about her early life. “So I was exposed to things I wasn’t supposed to be exposed to at a young age.”
Amidst the violence and hard times, Williams said she relied on role models in her school for guidance and decided to find a better path. Her friends from school, she said, didn’t make it out of the life of crime and drugs, with one who passed away in 2013.
“A lot of people didn’t make it out,” Williams said about those she grew up with. “A lot of people didn’t get the opportunities I have today.”
Ultimately, Williams said that she had to teach herself how to build a business from the ground up, relying on other groups as well as Google and YouTube tutorials. Williams recently celebrated the grand opening of the resource center located on West Burleigh Street. The center not only helps youth find a safe place but offers hygiene products, clothes, and other daily necessities for families.
Williams said she is “hoping for a bigger future,” and said that her “goal is to reach out to youth, bring down crime [in the neighborhood] and to help [youth] with education and jobs.”
Williams’ foundation helps give youth access to community service opportunities such as clean-ups and helping prepare food for the homeless.
“You can’t wait for something to happen to open your doors up,” Williams said about how helping youth in the community is her first priority. “No matter where you come from, it doesn’t mean you have to stay there.”
Williams said that if there was a place like the resource center for her when she was young, her life could have been drastically different. Her life now is dedicated to being there for her children and helping other children in her community. Recently, Williams shared, her five-year-old daughter decided to do her “superhero” project for school on her mother.
“I have opportunities to do and become anything that I want to become,” Williams said, “And I am thankful for that.”
Williams joked her daughter is already eyeing up her business after declaring she would one-day run A Cry for Help. It is a legacy Williams hopes to build up for her children.