Meet Alice Westery
I am a wife, a mother, a sister, an aunt and a Social Worker by trade but most of all I am a servant of young people. When starting on this journey back in August of 2011, I did not know that I would be the founder of an organization called Youth Towers. Nor could I have imagined that almost seven year later, I would be serving over 230 young people assisting them to prevent and end homelessness in Birmingham, Alabama.
I started this journey as a Dietetic Technician/Supervisor at a local Hospital in Birmingham Alabama and stayed there for twenty-three years. During this time, I attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) pursuing a degree in Social Work and Sociology. In December of 2003, I graduated from UAB with my Bachelor of Science degree. Soon after I became the Independent Living Program (ILP) Coordinator for the Jefferson County Department of Human Resources (DHR) for thirteen years. Little to my knowledge, this was the beginning of realizing my God given calling to serve and change the lives of the young people I encountered while working for DHR. Unbeknownst to me, the population that I was serving as ILP Coordinator at the Jefferson County DHR were becoming homeless after ageing out of the system at the age of 21 and after emancipation at the age of 19. Young people began to come back to visit me at DHR and ask for help in finding a shelter to live at. I knew in my heart that shelters were not and are not appropriate for our young people and at that instant I asked the question “Should not someone do something about this problem?” It was like a voice from heaven that said, "Why do you think I am having them to come back and ask for your help?" It was at that point and time that I was fully convinced and fully persuaded as if a light came on that I had been called for such a time as this to not talk about the problem but to be a part of the solution. It was then that Youth Towers was born.
From that point on I began to seek knowledge from young people 14-21 years of age, 22-26 year of age and every other homeless resource that would assist me in being a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. Now I am thankful that I asked the question “Should not someone do something about this problem?” and I am humbled that I answered the servant’s call “Yes, I will.”
I am honored and privileged to serve the young people living in Birmingham. In addition to my executive director duties at Youth Towers, I also am a member of many different organizations that allow me to stay connected to the resources needed to continue to serve these young people in excellence. I am the Vice President of Transit Citizens Advisory Board (TCAB). I am a committee member and past officer of Optimist Club Birmingham and Zonta Club Birmingham. I am a member of One Roof Continuum of Care, Jefferson County Family Resource Center Board of Directors and Children Policy Council Board of Directors. I am also an advocate for Homeless Youth Prevention/ Homelessness, Public Transportation and Education in Birmingham, Alabama as the Chair for the Community Affairs Committee.