“I felt like my life didn’t fit the profile of the other women at Calvary as I consider my barriers to be different. But what I realized was that we were all transitioning from something, and it didn’t make a difference what it was. The word transition was the correlation.”
When Betty lost her job as a teacher due to the government shutdown in 2013, and became homeless after having lived in her apartment for 16 years, she was baffled and didn’t know what to do. She decided to call all of the facilities included on a housing listing she obtained from the courts, and found Calvary. She stayed for 8 months.
“My first impression of Calvary was that it’s a clean, neat safe haven tucked away on Good Hope Road. My life was still challenging but Calvary showed up at the right time to help bring balance back into existence.”
Betty says that there are a few memorable moments that made her stay an even richer experience: “My awesome case manager who made me accountable for my decisions while searching for housing and returning to school; the therapy services that are an enhancement to the mind, body and soul; the delicious meals, shower, laundry, and gifts at holiday time; the friendly, smiling face of Ms. Robin [Aycock, Program Manager]; the Education Coordinator [Elaine Johnson] who searches high and low to find the most memorable experiences filled with education and value all while having a great time; and all of the volunteers who serve the residents without judgement and who do birthday celebrations, karaoke nights and so much more to make residents’ stay at Calvary enjoyable.”
Since leaving Calvary, Betty has been renting a room and is expecting to move into an apartment soon. She recently completed seven classes at the University of the District of Columbia, majoring in Music, and believes she will be included on the Dean’s list. She’s also written a play which honors her mother and will premiere on June 30th. She cast one of the clients from Calvary.
Betty is focused on her journey and extremely grateful for the foundation that Calvary provided. She also recently spoke at Calvary’s 16th Annual Hope Awards Dinner, sharing her story with nearly 300 guests who were visibly moved.
“I have to express the impact Calvary had on me while putting my life back together. I am very humbled to have had the experience of homelessness as well as the experience at Calvary to obtain balance in my life again. Thank you sincerely for giving me space to breathe again and live!”