Julia started taking art lessons when she was eight years old and later attended school for art and theater. After completing a double major in Fine Arts and Art History, she received her B.A. from Western Maryland College.
Julia worked as a special education teacher in Baltimore for ten years while raising her family. Then she switched directions and worked as a case manager for people with mental illness. “You never know what side of the desk you will be sitting on,” Julia said. “I have sat on both sides.”
After losing her home in Baltimore during the housing bubble, Julia came to Seattle with hopes of finding work. However, she found the cost of renting an apartment here to be out of her reach. She went to the Seattle Public Library downtown to do some research on area homeless shelters and met a woman who frequented Elizabeth Gregory Home (EGH). Julia got into a local women’s shelter program and starting coming to EGH regularly in 2014. “The new showers are great, the staff is great, and the food is great!” Julia said about EGH, “I can even take food with me!”
Julia has a seizure disorder and often arrives at EGH with bruises and other contusions. “Once I woke up from a grand mal seizure and a man was dragging me away from my bus stop,” said Julia. She has lost all of her belongings several times due to being out on the streets when she seizes. But Julia knows that she can count on EGH to help her replace what has been lost or stolen, including her sources of identification, and to make sure she gets medical attention if needed.
It took two and a half years before Julia’s name came to the top of the list for permanent housing, when in December 2016, she got into a new studio apartment in a brand new building in Seattle. “I’m a bath girl,” said Julia. “It’s awesome to be able to take a bubble bath in my new home!”
Update: After losing her apartment earlier this year due to health issues, Julia began coming to EGH’s Day Center on a daily basis. Sadly, on October 3, 2018 Julia passed away in her sleep while staying at a friend’s house. Julia was a bright light in the EGH Community and is sorely missed by all.