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Meet Lillian Bittaye of Sojourner Truth Observational Study Hometel in Lithonia

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lillian Bittaye.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
This non-profit organization evolved 24 years ago this past June 16, as a call to action after my child was assaulted on the way to school one morning as well as a follow up from a gang summit, which was held in Kansas City.

Within three weeks after school started, my baby daughter came running back home from the bus stop one morning in tears, frightened to death, and sobbing frantically between trying to explain that a little boy had socked her in the face, and accused her of shooting a bird at him the previous day, as she was exiting the bus. We had just relocated back to my hometown to care for my mother, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. This was the first time that she had ever been exposed to violence, due to the fact that she had been sheltered for the first 12 years of her life.

Due to these circumstances, I was unable to attend that Gang summit as I had to make a decision to remain by my mother’s bedside until she took her last breath. One month after she was laid to rest, I felt a void in my life, and decided to seek out ways to get involved in the community, in order to fill that empty space in my heart. During the last three months of my mother’s illness, I recall the spirit of God coming to me in dreams and visions with names of people and places that I was ordained to connect with along this new path. The first task that I chose to embark upon was to organize a “Save the Children’s” Youth crusade, and to position myself to become an advocate for children’s rights. It was held on the lawn of the Mason Temple Institutional Church of God In Christ, located at 6th Nebraska Avenue, under the auspices of my spiritual parents – Bishop William H. and Mother Faye McDonald Sr.

Shortly afterwards, my desire was to re-establish a summer camp program for foster and needy children, similar to the one that I had to leave behind in Groton, Connecticut, as I tried to find my way back to reality. The road that I was traveling on led me to a woman named Mrs. Mary Ann Flunder, who just so happened to believe in my vision and allowed me to organize a summer camp at the Chelsea Coalition. After 2 months went by, with no funding in sight, we were blessed to begin receiving donations from individuals throughout the community that sustained us until the end of July.

When school begin, I started to notice children walking the streets all hours of the day with no supervision in sight, so I approached several of them as asked if it was a holiday that I was not aware of. One-by-one, they began to share with me that they had been suspended from school and were just hanging out in the street, because they had nowhere else to go. I knew that this was not a good alternative for them, as this was the period when drive-by shootings were at an all-time high, and children were losing their lives in record numbers. I decided to approach the director of the Kansas Parks and Recreation Department, Mr. Burt Cavin, with a new vision for a building that could be used to take these children off the streets and provide an educational safe-haven for them in an effort to keep them alive and out of the hands of the juvenile court system or the funeral homes. To my surprise, a few weeks later, he called and offered to allow me to use a building that had been vacant for approximately 6 years. It was the Kensington Park Recreation Center, located on 29th State Avenue, and that beautiful facility became the home and start of the Sojourner Truth Observational Study Hometel Inc.

For 9 years, we continued to develop programs and community events, one in which became the joy of my life, entitled “Christmas on Quindaro & Christmas Around the World”, serving thousands of fosters, needy, and eventually homeless children, until God released us from Kansas City and brought us back to Atlanta to continue the work as a certified teacher and educational consultant. From 2002 until now, I have continued to sow into the lives of thousands of children whom have been placed in my path through such avenues as a

  • 24-hour family day care home provider
    • foster parent/child advocate
    • substitute and certified teacher
    • program coordinator
    • mentor/youth coordinator
    • faculty adviser
    • camp director
    • master tutor/educational consultant
    • CEO of the Stosh Solution Services LLC – company established to secure government contracts
    • most recently a radio host for an internet radio station entitled Vision Radio 105.1, where our segment will be
    designed for young listeners and coined “There’s No Place Like Home.”

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Being the new kid on the block, it was difficult trying to brand myself to become qualified to collaborate with local youth serving organizations, partnering with neighboring educational facilities, or being invited to attend community strategic planning meetings until we were able to provide the data and statistics required to verify that our efforts and hard work was making a difference in the lives of the children, youth, and families in our region. Our sponsors database began to increase after securing our first federal grant through the Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention, KC 150, and obtaining an Environmental Justice Grant to design a Water Monitoring Project and train youth to collect samples of water and conduct pollution testing throughout the metropolitan Wyandotte County area. By the time we decided to relocate, there were approximately 200 donors who devotedly assisted in sponsoring the largest Christmas party in Kansas City, Kansas for 11 years.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Sojourner Truth Observational Study Hometel – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
The Sojourner Truth Observational Study Hometel Inc., program began in the summer of 1993 as a summer camp, and was only intended to last for 2 months, but continued to expand to offer services such as an after school program, and a non-accredited private alternative school, offering tutorial assistance to school age children. When I realized that many children were being allowed to graduate without knowing how to read, that subject became my specialty, and one in which I take pride in instilling the basic skills necessary to become a successful reader, starting in pre-school, all the way to becoming a progressive young adult. My greatest accomplishments have been to assist families of missing persons and runaway youth, and witness the joy of finding someone’s lost loved ones alive. I feel that the one trait that sets me apart from others is the exceptional gift that God has blessed me with to be able to pray in the flesh for things to change, and being able to discern in my spirit where and how to assist families in crisis, then witnessing all the signs, wonders, and miracles unfold right before my very own eyes.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
To launch my new radio segment on Saturday, September 2, 2017 that will open a new gateway to promoting my Mobile Academic Program (MAP), reaching children all over the world, capped with educational field trips when school is out, and eventually to have my documentary aired possibly on the OWN Network that will continue to focus on the Teen Prostitution and Human Trafficking crisis right here in Atlanta.

Pricing:

  • Tutoring on Computers or by Webcam @ $35.00 per session/$175.00 for 5 sessions/$350.00 for 10 sessions
  • Educational Consultation @ $50.00 first hour/$25.00 each additional hour
  • Teaching, Training, Facilitating ($100.00 per hour – minimum 4 hours)

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Sanah Bittaye
Daron Mitchell

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

2 Comments

  1. Charlotte Sista C Ferrell

    September 21, 2017 at 3:15 am

    I loved this article about Lillian Bittaye_ it demonstrates how much one person can do to help children and youth by just being led by God and open to his provision

    • Lillian Y Bittaye

      January 19, 2018 at 12:14 am

      Thank you “Sista C” for your kind words and tremendous support. We need more supporters like you to fuel the fire that keeps us motivated to continue to press forward.

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