“I remember thinking, ‘I have no home now. I’m destitute.’”
Natalie didn't know what to do when she found herself with no where to live. Thanks to donors like you, Natalie found a home and a community that supports her in H.O.M.E.'s Intergenerational Housing program. You gave her hope.
Natalie grew up in West Rogers Park.
After she married, she moved with her young family and raised her children in San Diego. She moved back to Chicago over 20 years ago to take care of her aging parents.
In addition to being a caregiver to her own family, Natalie worked outside of the home as a legal secretary, substitute teacher, and civil servant. Her three children are now grown and live across the country.
Last year, Natalie was shocked to find out that her husband had not been paying the mortgage on the two-flat they owned and lived in together.
Soon after, the building was foreclosed and she found herself in the midst of divorce with no place to live. She didn't know where to turn.
Her youngest daughter came in town to help her mom figure out her next steps.
They looked at several affordable apartments, but Natalie knew she needed to be in a place where she would be with other people.
That’s when Natalie and her daughter were referred to H.O.M.E.
Our Pat Crowley House was different.
In the intergenerational setting, she’d have a network of support in other residents and staff that would help her stay engaged.
“I wasn’t socializing on my own. So when we visited Pat Crowley House, I jumped at the chance!”
She’s enjoyed going on outings with the group since she moved in. They went to the historic Clarke House this summer, and went to China Town for lunch just last week.
Natalie has made friends with many of her neighbors. She and Susie like to go to concerts in Millennium Park together. She says Taylor and the other young adults who live at Pat Crowley House and serve as Resident Assistants are very kind.
“Here, it kind of forces you to socialize. That’s what I needed. We support each other. I still sometimes wake up with what I call the ‘morning willies’- I feel anxious and afraid- but then I walk downstairs and talk with people, and I feel better.”
After about six months, Natalie feels comfortable in her new home. She has pictures of her daughter and two grandchildren on the mantle in the living room on the second floor of Pat Crowley House.
Natalie tells us, “I know this is the best place for me.”
How you can help
We rely on donations from individuals like you to help seniors maintain their independence by having the housing and housing support services they need.
This year H.O.M.E. has joined #ILGive to celebrate Giving Tuesday.
Will you mark your calendar for November 27, 2018 to give to make a big impact for seniors in 2019?
As a bonus, our board and staff have agreed to sing (beautifully) "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" in UGLY holiday sweaters at our annual holiday party if we reach our goal of $25,000. Watch the video here.
Or, donate today.
This post is part of our series to celebrate Giving Tuesday, which will take place this year on November 27, 2018. 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.
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