Community Voices: Olympica Anderson
Olympica (aka LaKesha) Anderson is an advocate for the community, primarily those facing housing insecurities, and those with dogs known as “pit bulls.” She provides essential supplies and shares resources to those she can reach.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part of my work within my immediate community is knowing that every animal is loved by their human, and that every human is treated with respect and keeps their loving pet. Not having a roof over one’s head should not be a reason for people to lose their pets, or to be looked down upon.
In your opinion, how does community wisdom play a role in your advocacy and work in animal welfare?
I was once homeless and my only friend was my pit bull. She protected me and stayed by my side in all situations; this is why I named her My Shadow. She saved my life and kept me going. From my experience in this situation, I am able to show others compassion and respect, like those that helped me showed me. It’s from this wisdom that I now do my work for others, including pets.
What would you like to see for the future of animal welfare and human well-being?
I really wish that others would treat those on the streets with love, compassion and respect. I landed on the streets through real hardship and not having a support system. I didn’t want to be out there. It was through the kindness of others that I was able to get off the streets, and into a job, and then my own place, still with My Shadow. I wish that others would extend a hand to both person and pet. I will forever do this work and love animals, because as I said, my dog saved my life. People and pets deserve second, and sometimes, third chances!