Catherine's Story

Catherine worked hard all of her life. She retired from her retail career in 2008 and assumed the full-time role of taking care of her mother in Memphis. After her mother passed in March 2011, Catherine decided to move to DC to be closer to her niece and nephew. She had a hard time finding work and lived in a hotel until she could no longer afford the cost.

On a cold morning in February 2016, Catherine became homeless for the first time in her life. 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.”

Then she heard about N Street Village. When she arrived, Catherine almost instantly felt safe and welcome. She started taking classes in the Village Wellness Center. Even though her housing was still uncertain, she began to see hope for a better tomorrow.

Then Catherine’s hope was realized: N Street Village was opening the new emergency housing program. Catherine applied and was one of the first women accepted into the Senior Temporary Housing program at The Patricia Handy Place for Women.

With stable housing in a caring community, Catherine can now embark on a new beginning. Catherine recently started working and looks forward to moving into her own place again where she can cook.

Catherine was honored with the 2017 Steinbruck award at the March 2017 Annual Gala.

Watch her and the other honorees stories in this special video:

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