Living on Her Own

“This was nothing new to me,” Glenda said.

When she moved into Calvary Women’s Services, it was not the first time she had been homeless. She was not surprised by the “house rules” at Calvary, like abiding by a curfew and maintaining a clean bedroom. She said those things were “not a big deal” for her.

Still, when she arrived Glenda was quiet and cautious. “I’m always quiet at first,” she said. “I have to get to know who is alright, who isn’t alright. I don’t share much in meetings. I don’t want all my feelings to come out.”

The first time Glenda became homeless was when she became seriously ill. She was hospitalized for weeks and lost her job as a result. Her situation is an all-too-common one in the District, and she had to leave her apartment.

Glenda fought alcoholism for decades and has been sober ever since coming to Calvary. She chuckled softly about the dangerous ways that she once chose to spend her time. “I’ve had my days,” she acknowledged.

Her outlook on her future seems hard and matter-of-fact. Glenda knows there are people in her life that “aren’t alright,” and who she must avoid in order to stay sober and focused. Some of those people are family members. Many of her friends have been killed. “I’m living on my own,” she said quietly.

The small, studio apartment she moved into recently will give her privacy, but her hopes are set on a larger apartment next year. She pays her rent entirely with the income she earns through her full-time job, which she has maintained for more than seven months. Hopefully homelessness is behind her for good.

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