From Homeless to Housed…and Very at HOME!
When you hear about someone whose life changed for the better with help from a nonprofit organization, do you ever wonder if they stayed on that upward path? Perhaps they were once homeless, then provided a permanent place to live and supportive services to help them change their life. Are they still on the straight and narrow?
Let us tell you about Jennifer, a Maxwell Garden resident who definitely is! Jennifer originally shared her story through Pathlight HOME’s blog and social media posts in May 2018. At that time, she had just “graduated” from her room in our Safe Haven Program to her very own efficiency in our Homes for New Beginnings Program. She was so excited to have a place of her own that she couldn’t sleep! It was a far cry from her alcoholic days on the street, when she was totally disengaged from family and friends.
Listening to Jennifer talk, one hears happiness, gratitude, calm, newfound independence…and fierce resolve to conquer crocheting a blanket for her son in North Carolina! “It’s red, white, sparkles and black. I’m getting close to getting it done,” she assures. The original blanket she worked on for him, “got all knotted up; it wasn’t perfect.” Both her son and her mother have told Jennifer lovingly that it didn’t have to be perfect, letting her know that the repaired relationships with both of them and her changed life are what’s most important.
Jennifer’s independence now has her ordering on Amazon, taking meds on time, cleaning her apartment, and scheduling rides to doctors’ appointments, etc., yet she is still very appreciative of the help afforded her at Maxwell Garden. Knowing she has a permanent place to stay, where she can take care of herself; getting the monthly newsletter of important information for residents; having a friend nearby who food shops for her weekly; and especially having her Case Manager, Gail Smith, to guide her, as well as her former Case Manager, Rotaya Cobb, she has what she needs and is very content.
To hear Jennifer sum up her past few years, we want to give her a hug…but can’t because of Covid-19 protocol:
“It’s my home. I’m appreciated here, loved and respected. I pretty much stay home, pay rent, get mail, go to appointments…I’m having fun crocheting; sometimes I’m up all night! I’ve got a roof over my head, food in my mouth, Gail, Rotaya, friends and my family.”
If that’s not still on the upward path, we don’t know what is!