My Own Place to Cook: Mia’s Story

“Am I going to have to buy a coffee pot? What about pots and pans? I’m from the South and I like to cook.” This was Mia on the day she moved from Calvary Women’s Services into her own apartment.

Then my case manager opened the cabinets to show me the pots and pans and coffee maker that were already there. I couldn’t believe it, Calvary took care of everything.”

Mia never thought this day would come. A few years ago, she was living with an abusive partner in another state. It got so bad that she had to flee, traveling alone to DC in the middle of the night hoping to join her family there.

Mia stayed with her brother and his children for a month. Space was limited at the house, and she could tell her presence was putting a strain on the family. She tried staying with friends, but never longer than a few days at a time.

With her recent trauma and her housing instability, Mia had a hard time holding on to a job. Soon she ran out of money and places to stay. She began sleeping on the streets.

“I was panicking. I had run out of options. Was this really me? Sleeping outside on park benches?”

One night Mia was assaulted. Her injuries were so severe she had to remain in the hospital for two days. After leaving the hospital she was referred to an emergency shelter. There, Mia’s case manager recommended she come to Calvary, so she could get all of the support she needed.

At Calvary, Mia thrived. She met with our therapist to address the trauma from her partner’s abuse. Her case manager supported her during medical appointments while she continued to heal from her recent assault.

With her recovery underway, Mia enrolled in Calvary’s job placement program and began looking for work. It wasn’t long before she found a job in customer service at one of her favorite stores and got promoted to floor manager.

This past June, Mia moved into an apartment that Calvary manages. She told me she almost couldn’t believe it when her case manager told her she would be moving into her own home.

I just sat on the couch, MY couch, the day I moved in and smiled. I couldn’t believe it. I was home,” Mia recalls, with a huge smile. “I have my own place to cook, my own place to relax at the end of the day. I feel this huge sense of relief when I wake up in the morning.”

Mia is thrilled to be living in her own apartment. She can tell you, however, there are still many women experiencing homelessness in our community. As our region continues to change and expand at a rapid pace, the number of single adults in Washington, DC is rising.

Together we can make a difference and inspire hope in the lives of women who are working to overcome their homelessness for good. Will you make a gift that will ensure women like Mia have a safe place to live and access to life-changing services?

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