I need social liberation. I need freedom.” She began researching Seattle on the college library’s computers, nestling her chin in her hand, and dreaming while perusing photos and watching YouTube videos of the Emerald City. “I’d imagine myself standing in front of the Troll,” she says, “or crossing a bridge over water.” She talked to the pastors at her church in Philadelphia about moving to Seattle after graduating with her associate degree. “I tore his ear up,’’ she said of her pastor, Tony Pearson of the First Church of Love, Faith and Deliverance. “She was a adjunct nursing faculty jobs online very determined woman,’’ Pearson says. “She was going through a hard place in her life. She took a leap of faith to leave and sell everything in Philadelphia and go to Washington. As a woman and a mother, she wanted the best for her children.” Pearson says Johnson never asked for anything from the church, so Pearson and his wife, Delphine, took up a collection and surprised Johnson with a gift of $500 for her journey. “The only thing she wanted was to be sincerely loved by people,’’ he says. “We love her, and love is an action word.” When Johnson arrived in Seattle, she first briefly stayed in a hotel, then two shelters. But within two months, a shelter connected Johnson with an apartment through Imagine Housing , a not-for-profit that provides affordable housing for low-income families on the Eastside and on Mercer Island.
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