11 May “I Got You!”
Sally was working at her job when a 185-pound ladder fell on her, herniating a disc. Doctors told her she could not go back to work. Without a job, Sally lost her home. But she did not lose hope. Sally shares the struggles of her four-year journey to stability.
I have been homeless on and off for about four years. After I lost my home, I found shelter at United Methodist Church in Kirkland. I have always been independent – I guess that comes from being a single mother – and do not like asking for help. I tried going back to school – I wanted to prove that I could work, but I could not.
It was tough. I started getting depressed and would have a drink sometimes to get through the days. But I realized that is not the way to live, and I thank God for that every day.
In 2017, I heard about The Sophia Way. I needed to rest after surgery and found a place in their six-month program. I got everything I needed. It’s hard when you have to struggle to find a place to take a shower. And, it is just amazing when you come to a place and get everything you need. I was blessed to have found Sophia’s Place.
After that I bought a van and fitted it with a bed. At one point, I tried living with my son, but they have a pit bull. He is a big lovable dog and loved jumping on me, and my body could not handle that.
Last year, I connected with Katie, a case manager at The Sophia Way. I was living in my van at a Safe Parking program, and she was doing outreach. I love her spirit! She understood and supported me in whatever I was trying to do. She did not look down on me. She would tell me: “I got you.” I remember those words so clearly! I have heard other women call her magical Katie, and she is one. She understood when I told her I did not want to get housing and about my idea of getting a mobile home. She gave me the strength to do things for myself, and I appreciated that. When I realized my body could not take living in a van anymore and that I needed a home, she helped me find one.
Now I have a roof over my head and am rebuilding my life slowly. I used to have a big cork board with pictures of me when I was little all the way to my son’s family – I would like to get that up again. I have a lovely cabinet that Katie got me – I will put it on the deck with some plants because I love plants.
I feel positive. It is good to lie down and rest my head. Every day when I wake up, I thank God it is over. I am happy where I am. I do not have to spend $20 a day driving everywhere like I did when I was homeless. I have been here a week and a half, and I have already saved $200 in gas.
I live a mile from my son and can walk to see my grandkids. I can spend more time with them and take them swimming. I cannot wait for Christmas. I used to have a real Christmas tree. I love the smell of a real tree and cannot wait to have one again.