I only first met Debra last Monday Night. This week, she remembered me. As it turns out, she remembers most folks! Homed, homeless, or in-between. If you come Monday Night, you’ll recognize Debra by her bubbly personality and eagerness to make you feel welcomed. She’s been off the streets for two years which is an outcome we hope to see more of.
Debra tells her story between sips of a chilled caramel coffee purchased from Smart and Final. Caffeine, she reports, is needed after a full day’s work and the walk home after. She started her job (six hour shifts, four days a week).
She’s been living in a local apartment for over two years, but has been volunteering with Streets of hope long before then.
“I was homeless when I first started Volunteering.”
Debra notes. Like many others, she wanted to give back to her community even when she herself was in need. During the time she was on and off the streets, in and out of a number of programs, not all in which she felt safe or was treated fairly.
She does commend both Path and Rachel’s Women’s Center. Path, she says, had the most observant case managers and Rachels’s felt the safest, being a Women’s only shelter.
Debra reported she first became homeless due to an assault by her father that her mother did not believe. She had to find safety and has been fending for herself (and helping others) ever since. Streets of Hope provided an environment of safety and resources that enabled her to pay it forward.
“I like to crochet,” she says, when asked about additional interests and hobbies. Blankets and beanies mostly. Which just so happen to be the items most needed by the San Diego homeless!
She says she’d be willing to teach us to crochet. We look forward to that. We also look forward to meeting her 11 year old gray tabby rescue, Souci.
If you get the chance to join us next Monday Night Debra will be the one making sure you feel welcomed.