Working Woman: Epiphany in Africa leads to 25 years of helping homeless in Va.

Working Woman: Pam Michell, executive director of New Hope Housing. (ABC7)

During the holiday season, many people take time to give to those who are less fortunate.

One Working Woman has been helping the local homeless population for 25 years. And she has big plans to make their lives better for years to come.

Pam Michell has dedicated her life to making other people's lives better. As executive director of New Hope Housing, she has helped hundreds of people get off the streets and into a place of their own.

She had an epiphany on a family vacation.

"In 1985 my family went to Africa," she says. "I saw amazing, amazing joy and hope in the midst of what I thought, from my first-world perspective, was total despair. I thought, 'what is wrong with my perspective on life and what am I doing with my life and how can I get some of this hope going in my world?"

When Michell started with New Hope Housing, it consisted of three shelters in Fairfax County with about 80beds. Now they have 350 beds and serveabout 1,600 homeless people every year.

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