Carolyn Looks Forward to Resting at EGH on Sundays
Carolyn is a 72-year-old retired teacher. “I thought my retirement years were supposed to be a time to relax – but then I became homeless. I never expected to spend them sleeping in my car and lugging around my belongings from shelter to shelter,” Carolyn said.
“After living in my car for so long, I really wanted to find a place of my own. Last year, I ended up renting a room in a big old turn-of-the-century house in the Central District for $500 a month.”
A City of Seattle rent-subsidy program helped Carolyn pay her way. But her building was so run down that City building inspectors documented 75 code violations. (See Vernal Coleman’s article in the Seattle Times: “Out of Homelessness, Into a Hovel.”) As a result, Carolyn and all other tenants were evicted.
“I went back to sleeping in my car after the eviction,” Carolyn said, “but then my VW Beetle was impounded. Now I’m staying at a shelter and I come over to Elizabeth Gregory Home on weekdays.”
Sunday is reportedly the worst day to be homeless. Shelters close between 6:00 AM and 8:00 AM, putting people out on the streets with all their belongings. Homeless women like Carolyn often spend 5 – 7 hours on Sunday mornings riding a bus while waiting for libraries to open at 1:00 PM.
“If Elizabeth Gregory Home (EGH) was open on Sundays, it would mean everything to me and other women who are homeless,” Carolyn said. “I could eat breakfast, shower, do laundry, and take a nap. As a senior, I really need a place I can go where I can rest.”
Carolyn was beyond excited to learn that Elizabeth Gregory Home’s Day Center will be open on Sundays beginning this January. She said, “I am hopeful that the New Year will bring good news about the housing that I have applied for. I would love to have a place of my own to rest and maybe get a pet. I try to stay optimistic and rely on the good people at EGH to help sustain me until I find a home.”
[Editor’s note: Throughout 2018, EGH has been fundraising for the additional $60,000 it will take to open the Day Center on Sundays in 2019. Although short of that goal by $12,000, we will start this sixth day of service in January. If you can help us bridge this gap, please donate what you are able. With heartfelt appreciation for your consideration, thank you!]