Those were the words that Melissa, Street Outreach Lead, told Angie when she would visit her in her makeshift home along the river. Angie became homeless after losing her job, and her apartment. Originally, she had moved to Indy from Louisiana but did not have any support system here to help her in her time of crisis.
For a homeless camp, Angie’s wooden structure was more stable than most as she had a one room space. Being very resourceful, Angie tried to provide for her needs and for the needs of others in the camp area. As a natural care giver, Angie took care of stray cats too. “People who have homes throw cats away,” she said.
For awhile, Melissa engaged Angie in conversations about getting housed. After five years of homelessness, Angie realized she was getting older and would need increased medical and mental health care. The daily act of survival was also trying as her possessions were stolen, the campsites attracted pests and it became increasingly difficult for her to move around with arthritis in her knees. Finally, Angie agreed to be on the list for housing through the Continuum of Care.
The biggest worry Angie had was – who would take care of the others at the campsite and the stray cats that found their way out there. She was assured that any cats found there would be placed with the Humane Society to find permanent homes and that outreach teams would still visit the riverside camp to help people living there.
With her worry alleviated, Angie began to pursue housing. The big day came as Melissa handed Angie the keys to her newly remodeled apartment. She could now live in a permanent home and concentrate on addressing her mental health and medical issues. Towards this end, Angie regularly visits Eskenazi Health Pedigo at Horizon House for her needs.
Now in her new place and taking care of herself, Angie still cannot resist caring for others. She has made friends in her new apartment building and is already helping those in need.