What’s most important to me in life is my family and my faith. I have two children and two granddaughters, and belong to a church.

In 2013, I heard my church was looking for people to serve as missionaries at an orphanage in Mexico. I jumped at the opportunity. I served for two years, but could not continue to do that work due to physical limitations, so I moved back to Seattle to be with my family. I lived with my daughter for a short time, with the understanding that her small family could not support me long term. I sought area resources in order to ease the burden on my family and found a shelter to move into known as Hospitality House.

Part of staying at Hospitality House was a commitment to either work or volunteer in the community. The staff suggested I come to Elizabeth Gregory Home’s Day Center to volunteer. I thought it would be something I could do once or twice and be done with it. What I discovered in the process of volunteering at EGH is that I really enjoyed working with the clients. I started volunteering one shift each week at the front desk and learned that EGH offers incredible resources, like bus tickets for local transportation, a food source that allows folks to take up to a day’s worth of groceries home with them, and computers to use to stay connected with family and friends. I also found out that EGH has a transitional house in the Maple Leaf neighborhood for homeless women to live in for up to two years.

While volunteering in 2015, I found out from Michele Martin that there was an opening in the house, and I applied for the Transitional Housing Program. I was so excited when I got accepted! One of the Care Team counselors, Midge, was a terrific help with finding housing, as were Ruth and Michele. It felt like they really cared about me as a person, not just a client seeking housing. Thanks to their help, last week, I moved into my own apartment!

Having an experience with homelessness has made me a better person. I know it has made me more compassionate for other people experiencing hard times. Because of what I’ve gone through, I realize that just one person can make a difference in someone’s life. My dream is to become a peer counselor, reunifying families whose children have been removed from the home.

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