“I remember one day, we had nowhere to go,” Katherine recalls. She and her baby boy were homeless and living on the streets of Baltimore. And they’d been riding around town on a bus all day to stay warm and safe.
“It was late and we got off the bus at the very last stop of the day,” Katherine continues. “It was 3:30 in the morning. Across the street, there was a bus bench. I laid my baby down on that thing and I slept and just waited until it was light again. At 5:30, the bus started back up again, and we got back on.”
Katherine and her son spent most nights sleeping outside, vulnerable to all kinds of danger. Most days, they would stop by a spot where they could get a quick shower. And maybe they’d find something to eat at a soup kitchen. But finding help was difficult.
“There were no centers for women and children,” Katherine says.
Eventually, her son’s father received custody of the young boy, and Katherine found herself alone on the streets, panhandling to get money for food — and her ongoing heroin addiction. For years, she struggled to make it to the next day and the next high. But not long ago, something happened that would change Katherine’s life forever. She became ill.
Sick and dehydrated, Katherine went to a local hospital to get checked. They put her into detox, and it was there that a counselor recommended she come to Helping Up Mission. Our staff was happy to pick her up and to welcome her into our women’s program.
Katherine hasn’t been the same since. She’s been clean for six months, she loves her Bible and life skills classes, and she’s reconnected with her son, now 26, and speaks with him daily.
“I had nothing when I came here,” Katherine says. “But HUM lifts you up. This place has been an answer to prayer.”