From the mitten to Maryland part II
The Lord blessed me with a caring heart, and I put that to use in D.C. The second week of my adventure from the Mitten state to the D.M.V. consisted of many trials, culture shocks and blessings. I slept in my car at night, every night. I traveled around to find the resources that I needed to survive and to get myself off the streets.
I took my dog Buffy exploring the nation’s capital with me and she turned many heads. The third evening of the second week, it got very cold and I was out of fuel. Down on my luck, I searched for shelter. I was accepted into the Harriett Tubman Women’s Shelter in D.C. It was here that the Lord began to show me that case management sometimes doesn’t even know what resources are available to the general public, as many of them have never stood in the situations that we are in.
My case manager tried to send me somewhere to get my depression medication filled, however that was an hour wasted and money spent. If you don’t have insurance and you’re awaiting Medicaid or Medicare, your only option is to go to the local emergency room and get a three-day supply. This was the start of my very long stride for services to the unfortunate. For me to go to the local emergency room it took two buses and a nine-hour wait each time. I lost my spot in the shelter.
The next morning, I prayed and searched for another place to stay. Every day while I was in the shelter, they refused to let my dog, which is an emotional support animal, stay with me.
Then I found a day shelter – the Georgetown Ministry Center. The staff here are highly friendly, and I would put it at the top of the drop-in centers in the D.M.V. area. You don’t have to be from D.C. to receive the services here, and the meals are awesome.
I met a man in the shelter named D. He helped me find my way around the city, and showed me all the shelters that were available. I didn’t qualify for any of the overnight shelters because I am not a legal resident of D.C. I had to go to the Department of Human Services and apply for residency with the help of Miriam’s Kitchen.
The third night it got cold, Buffy was cold too, so D offered us to stay in his tent. Buffy slept in between us. She was a good doggie! The evenings got cold, but hand warmers and multiple sleeping bags donated from Miriam’s Kitchen kept us snug.
I stayed the rest of the week in this tent. I worked on getting a job while I stayed here. I went to G.M.C. Every morning I had my meal, applied for jobs, and got affiliated with Street Sense Media. The man I stayed with referred me for services, and Street Sense Media did all they could to help me and I am grateful. I also got an approval letter for food and medical insurance this same week, and had a blessed service Sunday at church.