Ramona will be moving into her own apartment this weekend after living in temporary and transitional housing for years. One of the things she plans on doing first is cooking food that she loves. Ribs are one of her favorite dishes, but being able to cook almost anything in her own kitchen will be a treat.
Ramona will live near many family members, so she is also looking forward to having visitors. She said her family will be her support when she leaves Calvary, and that she is not worried about who to turn to if she needs help.
“I’m mostly looking forward to getting my life back,” she said. “It will be so nice to have my own space.”
Before coming to Calvary about a year ago, Ramona had been living at a homeless shelter for women. She said that privacy was hard to come by with so many women sharing space. She made a friend there who had a connection with Calvary, and who gave her a business card with a phone number to call. She described this friend as “my greatest blessing” for telling her about Calvary. When she visited Calvary for the first time, Ramona knew this was where she wanted to be before even seeing a bedroom.
Having the constant support and encouragement of her case manager motivated Ramona to pursue her independence. She also developed a close friendship with a roommate, and they relied on each other for support throughout ups and downs.
One of the breakthroughs that allowed Ramona to secure a place to live was receiving disability benefits. After months of waiting, she got an early Christmas gift when a letter arrived notifying her that her application for benefits had been accepted. Ramona will finally be able to take care of the chronic knee pain that has hampered her for years.
Ramona observed that it can be an adjustment for some women when they first move in to Calvary. She offered some comforting words for new residents: “Be glad that you’re here. This is a good place where you’re going to learn a lot and work on yourself.”