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Louisa was at the Community Homeless Outreach Center (CHOC) for about a week before it sunk in. “I had my own apartment for five months prior, and the realization that I don’t have a place to call my own anymore just put me into a slough of despond,” Louisa said as she looked back on what it was like to be new to homelessness. Louisa had been her mom’s primary caregiver until she passed away in the fall of 2013. “She was so much a part of my life. She believed in me, prayed for me, spoke words of life over me. She always said, ‘God is not done with you yet,’ ” Louisa said.
Louisa described the extreme depression she experienced during her first few weeks in the shelter. It was like being stuck in cement. One day she prayed up the energy to approach one of the Life Coaches for prayer. The combination of asking for help while receiving prayer lit whatever spark was left deep inside Louisa’s soul.
Her Life Coach was her connection to accessing the medical, spiritual, and behavioral healthcare she desperately needed. Louisa was told about a program on campus called Thrive, which enabled her to gain help with her depression, diabetes and something Louisa craved deeper than anything—spiritual guidance. “You could have the greatest doctors in the world, but because everything is so professional they can’t go beyond it [and pray with a patient]. When you are going through something, you need the spiritual,” said Louisa. She equates praying with the medical, dental and behavioral healthcare staff at Water Street to her progress.
A team of professionals, passionate about making homelessness a thing of the past, surrounds Louisa on her journey. There is more for her to experience on the other side of homelessness. God is not done with her yet, and she believes it.
In addition to her medical support Louisa was assigned a prayer counselor, made possible through our partnering agency Refuge of Healing and Hope, who met with her weekly.
Louisa’s Life Coach and Case Manager worked with her to set up a plan of action for acquiring work and managing her health. She took a career-planning seminar through one of our partners, CareerLink, which gave her the tools needed to perfect her resume and connected her with a staffing agency. Louisa accepted two part-time jobs within walking distance from the Mission. In her free time she is taking financial courses held at Water Street, learning how to budget and manage her income. Louisa sold her car in order to pay off a few bills; a financial step toward is helping her reach her goal.
“My goal is to get stable employment—to get permanently hired so that I can settle into managing my budget and then transition into an efficiency apartment,” Louisa said. Louisa knows that big boulders remain on her path, but she is gaining the tools and strength to climb over them. A team of professionals, passionate about making homelessness a thing of the past, surrounds Louisa on her journey. There is more for her to experience on the other side of homelessness. God is not done with her yet, and she believes it.