Two years ago, Loretta was a frequent visitor to the hospital. She was admitted every six months or so for exasperated COPD or pneumonia.
She can breathe easier now because of people like you and she wants you to know her story.
Christmas day was on a Wednesday in 2014, Loretta recalls.
On that day, her windows were boarded up and she could feel the cold seeping in through the cracks.
Just a few days before, she was sitting at home alone while her kids and grandkids were at holiday parties. Suddenly, gunshots rang out and bullets sprayed through her windows, ricocheting off the angels that decorated her window sills.
Right then, she decided she needed to move. The next day, her children began talking about what to do with Mom. One of her children was looking for jobs in Nevada and wanted Loretta to move across the country.
Loretta desperately wanted to find another option.
“I couldn’t live in Nevada! I love my kids. But I love them enough to not live with them. I don’t want to be a burden.”
Thanks to our donors, Loretta doesn’t feel like a burden on her children.
One of her daughters knew that H.O.M.E. provides affordable housing for seniors in three buildings in Chicago. When she reached out to Jim, the property manager for Blackhawk Manor, he said there was a vacancy that Loretta might have interest in. She says, “I was blessed to get in here. I was in love and thought, ‘This is where I need to be.’”
Since she moved in March 2015, Loretta’s health has improved. In her old neighborhood, she was afraid to go outside because of violence on her block. Her children ran errands for her, but she never left alone unless she was going to the doctor.
Now, she can go out on her own. She enjoys having a park right across the street. And since she is more active, she’s more independent.
Not only does she run her own errands, she is also able to manage stairs on her own which means she can do her laundry in the basement of her apartment building—no small feat for a person who uses an oxygen tank and walker.
In fact, she said that the moment she moved in she felt relieved and relaxed: “Like a breath of fresh air—that’s everything.”
This holiday season Loretta lives on her own, healthier and more independent than she was at Christmastime two years ago, because she found a safe and welcoming place to call home. We couldn’t provide that home for her without donors like you.
Reflecting on the past two years, Loretta says, “I shudder to think where I would be if I didn’t live here. I don’t think I’d be happy there.”
We can't provide the programs that we do for seniors without your support.
How you can help
We rely on donations from individuals to provide safe, warm homes to seniors like Loretta.
This year H.O.M.E. has joined #ILGive to celebrate Giving Tuesday. Will you help us kick off the season of giving by raising $20,000 to make a big impact for seniors in 2017?
As a bonus, Bruce Otto, our Executive Director, has agreed to wear a zany Cubs-inpired suit and a hipster-styled wig if we meet our goal. Watch the video here.
This post is part of our series to celebrate Giving Tuesday, which will take place this year on November 29, 2016. The idea behind #GivingTuesday is to kickoff the holiday-giving season, in the same way that Black Friday and Cyber Monday kickoff the holiday-shopping season.
Do you want updates and tips in your inbox every week? Remember to subscribe to Senior Moments from H.O.M.E.