Mary is willing to recognize the hard truth of life – her life.
“I was a meth monster at 61 years old,” she shares matter-of-factly.
Mary didn’t want to struggle with addiction. But once it happened, she was hooked. So hooked that she ended up experiencing homelessness for 15 years.
“I wasted a lot of years using. The more I used, the uglier it got. I had never been that chronically homeless before in my life, “Mary emotionally explains.“I couldn’t get out of it. I tried several times and wasn’t successful.”
Part of the problem was that until the Women’s Shelter at the Tacoma Rescue Mission opened about two years ago, women like Mary didn’t have many options in Pierce County to get the help they really needed.
She stayed on the streets, facing horrific dangers and situations that no one should have to face.
But then, Mary found out about the Tacoma Rescue Mission’s Women’s Shelter.
She grabbed what she could carry and walked until she reached our doors. “You get to go in there, you get to take a shower, you’ve got a clean bathroom and you’ve got a nice little bed to sleep in,” she explains gratefully.
“I’ve never had so much help in my entire life, the whole time I’d been out there on the street, I’ve never had more support than this place right here,” Mary continues.
“Three square meals a day, showers, a bed to sleep in. They’re there for you. . . I felt so safe.”
The support of generous friends like you made all those things possible.
While at our Women’s Shelter, Mary got life-changing, Christ-centered mental and emotional support that helped her escape the streets and her addiction.
“If it wasn’t for the Women’s Shelter and the staff that kept me safe, dry, and emotionally set me on the right track, I wouldn’t be here today,” Mary shares.“I owe them everything for getting me to where I’m at today.”
Mary has since moved out of the Women’s Shelter into stable housing, reconnected with family and is living a whole new life.
“I still think about the Tacoma Rescue Mission every day and about everyone there who supported me through the hardest time in my life,” Mary shares.
Mary isn’t entirely sure what’s next for her, but because she’s seen how terrible it is to experience homelessness as a single woman, she knows she has to do something to help.
“I want to go back to school and help in some way. I’d really like to start a program of my own to support other women who need it,” Mary shares hopefully.
Mary may not be able to offer the support she dreams of providing for other women today, but you can.
Will you help save and change the life of another woman like Mary?