Standing by Geraldine

“I never thought I would have my own place again. [Our Saviour’s] was the best choice I could have made, the best program I could have gotten into.”

When Geraldine moved from Chicago to Minneapolis to live with her niece, she thought she was leaving homelessness behind her. But when her niece put her out on Thanksgiving Day four years ago, Geraldine found herself back on the streets. She began staying at Salvation Army. After about a year there, a staff member helped her get into Our Saviour’s emergency shelter.

From shelter, Geraldine moved into Our Saviour’s transitional housing. For six months, Geraldine had the entire apartment to herself before two other women joined her, and they formed a community. Geraldine says, “I loved my time in transitional housing. My apartment was beautiful, and it was so wonderful to have my own place after one-and-a-half years. I was so thankful to Our Saviour’s.”

Despite the positives, after nearly two years, Geraldine was asked to leave. She recognizes that it was the right thing at the time. In her own words: “I didn’t want to follow the rules.”

Even though she was no longer a part of its programs, OSH was not willing to give up on Geraldine. The permanent supportive housing program promised a better fit. So while she returned to Salvation Army, OSH worked to find a space for her. She eventually moved into her own apartment in St. Louis Park, where she lived for six months before her name came up for public housing. Geraldine successfully lives in her new apartment to this day.

Looking back over the years, Geraldine reflects, “I never thought I would have my own place again. [Our Saviour’s] was the best choice I could have made, the best program I could have gotten into. I am content right where I am. I don’t have a lot, but I don’t want for anything. I take it one day at a time. I am clean and sober for nine months now, and I am loving life!”

Geraldine’s life today includes going to church every Sunday and enjoying time at the library. Our Saviour’s continues to invite her to activities, and she still feels very connected to the community. “I appreciate Our Saviour’s and the staff there for everything they did and do. All of them stood and continue to stand by me.”

When asked if she had anything in particular she wanted to share with others, Geraldine’s advice is simple: “If you want it, you can do it. It can be done.”

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