In 2016, I was working at a nursing home that specialized in caring for elderly people with dementia. Then I had to give up my job to take care of my father, who had diabetes. I had no money after he passed, which led to my homelessness.
Not knowing where to stay, I was directed to a camp under the Ballard Bridge. While there, I met Bubba, who is now my service dog. Bubba alerts me when I’m about to have a seizure, which gives me my independence. Yes, I rescued him, but I also feel like he rescued me.
Lolo, a friend from camp, told me about Elizabeth Gregory Home. On my first day at EGH, I met one of the staff, Christine. I could tell right away that she really cares about everyone and loves working there. I felt welcome and she gave me hope. For example, she’s helping me with my health insurance so I will be able to get me back on my seizure medications. I know she won’t give up on me. It feels like that with all the staff. If you’re having a bad day, they make you smile, especially Ms. Valerie, who reminds me of my grandma. Karen makes me laugh, she’s just naturally funny, and she’s working with me on finding housing. Elizabeth gets happy when she knows people want to donate. Michele keeps the structure and keeps everyone in line with following rules. But she also has a big heart. She just wants to make sure everyone feels safe.
I was asked by staff about my hopes and dreams. One hope is to get back to cosmetology school. I also dream of buying my first home, having a place for homeless women where they can feel safe, make hot meals, and get back on their feet. Being at Elizabeth Gregory Home gives me hope that I can do this.
Recently I started volunteering in the dispensary at EGH, and am also training to work at the front desk. I feel good about myself when I help, plus I like to stay busy.
Before I was homeless, I used to love weekends, but now I hate them, especially Sundays. So many services are closed on Sunday. I hope that EGH will expand its days and hours—and maybe eventually expand all over the world!
It’s scary on the streets, especially for women. EGH definitely feels safe. I love coming here. Plus I am grateful that Bubba is also welcome!