There is no doubt that we have a homeless crisis here in the United States. Major cities in the United States are flooded with homeless people, who are forced to live transient lives with no hope of pulling themselves out. There are too many stories of people who never make it out of that level of poverty.
The odds against climbing out of homelessness are very slim, but when it does happen, it makes for a story that we can all get behind. Hopefully these types of stories inspire others to help our brothers and sisters in need. This story perfectly encapsulates why we should help. It's a story of a woman rising to her potential with the help of others.
The woman we're talking about is Patricia Murray. Patricia Murray was homeless for many years, but with the help of people in her life including a nun, a judge, and nursing home residents, she's a complete success story. Find out how this woman went from homelessness, to becoming an award-winning caregiver.
One of the most heartbreaking aspects of homelessness and displacement is the loss of potential. We are all capable of enormous potential, but life can push that potential down, especially when it's a struggle to simply survive. Patricia Murray is one of those people whose enormous potential was stifled for so long, but luckily that's not the case anymore. She started out as homeless in Washington DC. As she explains, "When you're in the streets, a lot of things happen. I'm talking about drugs, alcohol and all that. And I got into some trouble. I went before a judge who said 'you got a problem.' And I said, no I don't, and he said, 'I'm telling you, you got a problem,' and he put me treatment."
This judge was the first helping hand that would lead her to a new life.
After Patricia Murray completed and exited her treatment, she started living at a living facility for women in crisis situations such as abusive relationships, pregnancies, or situations like Murray's. The facility is called Hannah House, and teaches ts patients life skills that they will need to success, such as handling money, cleaning, cooking, and even parenting. These essential skills were something Patricia Murray did not have as a former homeless drug addict.
It was at Hannah House where Murray met the President of Providence Hospital, Sister Carol. Sister Carol was raising money so that Hannah House could stay open. Sister Carol offered Murray a job at the Carroll Manor, a nursing and rehabilitation wing of the shelter. All Murray wanted to do was work. She was so proud that she still has her first paystub framed.
One day while working, Patricia Murray missed dinner. A supervisor told her to go eat some dinner at the workplace, so Patricia Murray at there and began talking to some of the patients. That continued until Murray built more and more of a rapport. Now she has a huge family of the 250 people who she cares for. "You have to have passion, you have to have heart to work here. The residents need it. They need someone to look out for them and care for them because their families aren't here."
Recently she won the Ceca Foundation's Caregiver Award. Regarding winning the award, murray said, "It was an awesome feeling.. It took me back to where I started. And I kept thinking... you've come a long way to get this point, and everyone is still rooting for you." It just goes to show that with the right support, people can do truly amazing things.