So many things have changed this year… so many things except for the progress that women living at Calvary Women’s Services continue to make. Calvary provides housing, health, education, and employment programs for women experiencing homelessness in DC. Despite the devastating setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are still seeing women make incredible strides and reach their goals.
Myra moved out of Calvary and into her own home in May and reflected on the experience. “I never would have imagined that I was going to move into my own place during such a difficult time. It’s a miracle. I took everything I learned at Calvary and now I am independent. I didn’t believe it for a long time, but Calvary taught me that there is still beauty despite everything going on and that life can be good. Take it from me, it does get better if you have the support and put in the work.”
Women are ending their homelessness for good, regaining employment or finding a job for the first time, maintaining their sobriety, and attending education classes to gain new skills. And this is all happening during a pandemic that is causing economic instability and hardships around the country.
Since DC entered Phase 2 of reopening in June, women at Calvary are getting back to work. 50% of the women in our STEP UP DC employment program have already gotten jobs with an average wage of $15. Through it all, we have maintained our high success rate of 70% of women who complete our programs end their homelessness.
As Myra moved out of Calvary and into her own home in May, Angeline found Calvary. For years, Angeline was in an abusive relationship, addicted to drugs and had no money or a home of her own. She shared, “I was numb, I didn’t know why I existed. I was told I was nobody for so long and I believed it.”
She continued, “When I fled from my abuser a few months ago, I didn’t know where I would end up. I was worried about what it would mean to be homeless, especially during COVID. But I ended up finding the best place I’ve ever been. It was like I was finally walking out of hell.”
Almost immediately after Angeline came to Calvary, she joined our employment program. She was ready for a change. With the support from STEP UP DC, Angeline quickly found her first job in June.
“I didn’t even have a resume and now I am working! It’s hard to believe the progress I’ve made in such a short time. I am proud of myself for the first time in my life. Before coming to Calvary, I never liked looking in the mirror because I hated what I saw. Now I can look at myself, take a deep breath and smile.”
At a time when the women we serve are facing even greater adversities and there are more obstacles to overcome, they continue to persevere.
Angeline said, “Yes, I did the work, but I want everyone to know that I didn’t do it alone. Calvary was there supporting me every step of the way and I hope in turn people keep supporting Calvary because this place is so rare. This place has changed me. I am somebody now. Thank you for seeing me and all of the women living here as human beings.”
We hope that you find inspiration in their stories and know that even during this unbelievably difficult time, women are regaining their independence and rebuilding their lives at Calvary.
You can be a part of these success stories by donating to Calvary so we can make sure we are able to keep our doors open. Our programs are so deeply needed, especially now, but in order to keep them running during the pandemic we have been spending an additional $1,000 a day. That’s why we need your help!
Thank you for choosing to be a part of our story and for making sure that women who need it most have the resources and support they need to get back on their feet.
To hear more success stories and learn more about our programs visit calvaryservices.org.