“This is one of the best decisions I ever made. My health has improved tremendously since I came here, partially because I don’t have anything else to worry about."
At 63 years of age, Christine is warm and welcoming, and also immensely intelligent and witty. She was born and raised in Chicago where she grew up playing piano and working at a day camp for kids.
She went to college at West Virginia Wesleyan University where she was a music major and then a psychology major with minors in music and French. While attending West Virginia, Christine worked in the music library. She also studied abroad in France for 3 months at the University of Grenoble where she was not allowed to speak a word of English (or else her grade would get deducted a whole letter!).
She then moved to Washington D.C., where she lived for two and a half years. Experiencing the Watergate scandal first hand in the US capital, Christine remembers, “It’s different learning about it than actually living through it, when it was headlined in the newspaper everyday and when it was the first thing on the news at night.”
Having grown up in the fine arts, Christine was a theatre history major at American University. She felt the fine arts were a perfect fit and says Rogers & Hammerstein and Shakespeare are her favorites. She went on to achieve her masters in theatre history at the Chicago Circle Campus, which is now known as UIC, and became a legal secretary upon graduating.
After losing her home in foreclosure, due to sickness and medical bills she could not maintain, Christine had to move into an apartment. She needed an apartment that was affordable whilst her working abilities were limited. It was while speaking to a social worker at the hospital after this whole ordeal, when it was suggested that she rent a room.
After struggling to find a place and being on the verge of sleeping in her car, Christine was referred to H.O.M.E. Christine called Caren, our housing coordinator, and was given a tour of Pat Crowley House.
She moved in two days before Christmas, and she’s told us many times, it was the best holiday she had in ages. She's been living at Pat Crowley House now for four years.
“I can’t say enough good things about H.O.M.E., coming to Pat Crowley House has been a real blessing for me. It has let me, for the first time in my life, really concentrate on my health, simply because I don’t have to worry about taking care of a house, a yard, taxes, utilities, grocery shopping, all I have to do is work on improving my own health...I’ve really been able to improve my health tremendously. My doctor is absolutely thrilled with the progress I’ve made."
She calls Pat Crowley House an “extended family” that really mesh well together, “It’s warm and it’s comfortable and friendly and it just feels like having a really nice family around you. If you don’t have a lot of close relatives, this is the next best thing.” Christine has made friends like Judy who is like a big sister she never thought she needed.
Christine's final thoughts about living at Pat Crowley House?
"It starts to feel like a family. It really does. Some of us are older, some of us are younger. Like every family, you have good parts and bad parts, but we also have our warts.”
The folks here at H.O.M.E. are so honored to be apart of stories such as Christine’s. Thanks for the insight, laughs, and your thankfulness Christine!
We are able to provide resources for low-income seniors in Chicago because of donations that we receive.
H.O.M.E. is proudly partnering with #GivingTuesday and #ILGiveBig to encourage the spirit of charitable philanthropy this holiday season, because together, we change lives.
To find out more about H.O.M.E. and to provide support to low-income seniors, please visit our website. This post is part of our series to celebrate the impact of #GivingTuesday, which will take place this year on December 2, 2014. 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. We'll be featuring one post about our clients every Monday in November.