In August 2009, “Ronnie” found herself at the age of 60 staying at a Code Blue Shelter in Baltimore. She never thought this could happen to her. She had worked for over 35 years, 15 of which as a nursing assistant at the Rosewood Center, and had raised two daughters.
Ronnie’s story started many years ago when the Baltimore native made the difficult decision to relocate to California in an effort to escape her abusive husband. There she worked for over 20 years as a bus driver. A few years ago Ronnie fell ill and was diagnosed with cancer and heart disease. In an effort to save her life, she underwent triple by-pass surgery and had a malignant tumor removed from the roof of her mouth. While in recovery from these surgical procedures, Ronnie yearned for her family and friends. She decided to return to Baltimore in 2004 to be near her loved ones while she recuperated.
While back in Baltimore, Ronnie reconnected with her husband who promised her that he had changed. However, after a few months the abuse started again. One day, in an effort to once again escape the abuse, Ronnie told her husband she was going to the store. She left the house and never returned. Ronnie needed a safe place to live and sought shelter with a relative in their subsidized housing unit. Soon neighbors began to complain to management about her living arrangement and Ronnie found herself homeless. With nowhere else to turn, Ronnie was forced to seek out a Code Blue emergency shelter.
While at the shelter, someone there told Ronnie about My Sister’s Place Women’s Center. Ronnie says, “That’s the best advice I’d gotten in a while”. Her first day at My Sister’s Place, Ronnie felt blessed to have three nutritional meals, she attended several workshops and met with a caseworker. Her caseworker assessed Ronnie’s needs and helped her complete applications for senior and income-based apartments.
“The staff at My Sister’s Place cares; they were always willing to help, not just me but all the ladies,” said Ronnie. On November 3, 2009, all the hard work Ronnie and the staff at My Sister’s Place put in paid off when Ronnie moved into her own apartment. Ronnie feels blessed for all the help she has received and she is thankful to everyone involved. She finds comfort in knowing that My Sister’s Place Women’s Center will be there for other women to come after her who, too, are facing difficult situations. She knows that the lives of women in need will be blessed, just like hers has been, because of the work done at My Sister’s Place.