Catherine’s Story

Catherine has a degree in hotel and restaurant management and is retired from her career at Macy’s. While living in Memphis, Catherine cared for her ailing mother for three years. After her mother passed, Catherine was ready for a change and decided to move to D.C. to be with her niece and nephew. She had visited D.C. once and had always wanted to return to the vibrant city. She had a hard time finding work and after staying with her family for several months, she moved into a hotel until she could no longer afford the cost.

Alone, she made her way to Union Station where she met a woman who told her about the city’s emergency shelters.

“There was nothing positive in the shelter. I’d never been to prison but it felt like that to me. Women just waiting for the day to pass; many of them suffering.”

A homeless advocate connected her to N Street Village where she met Evelyn Green, the Day Services Manager, who instantly made her feel safe and welcome.

“N Street Village is really a community. Everyone is treated with respect.”

After spending time in the N Street Village Day Center and taking several classes in the Village Wellness Center, Catherine really began to see hope for a better tomorrow. She was excited to learn that N Street Village was opening a new temporary housing program. Catherine was one of the first people accepted into the Senior Transitional Housing program at the Patricia Handy Place for Women, N Street Village’s fourth location that opened in April 2016.

“Patricia Handy Place has been such a blessing. I can’t believe they chose me. I feel at home – I have everything I need and now I can work on taking care of me.”

With stable housing in a caring community, Catherine felt comfortable enough to move beyond her past and start building her new beginning. She applied for jobs and recently started working part time at a local drug store. She loves working again. Catherine is also rebuilding her savings and establishing credit. She is looking forward to finding her own apartment – a place where she can cook again. In the future, she would like to use her love of cooking to build a small catering business.

“There’s a big difference between homeless and hopeless.”