Finally At Home: Deborah’s Story
“My Mom always told me that my name should have been ‘Determined.’ I just kept focused on what I wanted to do.”
Before coming to Calvary Women’s Services, Deborah struggled with chronic homelessness for several years. She had decided to pursue her dream of a career in the medical field. She enrolled at a community college with the goal of becoming a certified medical technician.
Keeping up with her studies while trying to make ends meet proved nearly impossible.
Friends and family offered Deborah places to stay while she was studying, but none of them lasted very long. Once while staying with two friends, a couple, she had to flee because they both became abusive toward her. Out of options, she was forced to stay at emergency shelters. Sometimes the shelters didn’t have enough room for the night.
“I was going to school and sleeping at the bus stop. A couple of times I had to fend off attacks.” Amid these challenging circumstances, Deborah found out her mother’s health was failing due to cancer. She decided to drop out of the semester and rush home to take care of her.
After her mother passed, Deborah returned to Washington, DC, determined to find a way to finish her studies. Desperate for a better living situation, she began searching for help. Fortunately, an old friend recommended she come to Calvary Women’s Services.
At Calvary, Deborah found space and support to recover from the trauma of her housing instability and her mother’s recent passing. “Calvary gave me a renewed sense of patience and gratitude for my life.” She soon enrolled in our job placement program, Step Up DC, and found new work.
“People keep telling me that I’m smiling from ear to ear and that I look relaxed. I’m so grateful that I can be here in this apartment, I could have been out there on the streets.”
Now that she’s finally home, Deborah is ready to continue pursuing her dream of becoming a medical technician and eventually a nurse.
“I keep telling myself that nothing can stop me anymore, I’ve got to keep moving forward.”
This year, Calvary Women’s Services is growing. Thanks to our expansion efforts, 16 women including Deborah now have a home of their own through our permanent supportive housing program, Sister Circle.
By the time our expansion is completed, we will have increased our capacity by 80%. Calvary will provide more women with personalized support as they work to regain their independence.