Ms. Carolyn’s Story

Photo of Carolyn and Monique
Photo: Ms. Carolyn (right) and her Light House Client Advocate, Monique (Photo by Megan Evans Photography)

Ms. Carolyn never imagined she would end up experiencing homelessness. An Anne Arundel County native, Ms. Carolyn grew up, worked, started a family, and lived a full life right here in our community.

Sadly, her son who she had been sharing a home with for over 30 years recently passed away unexpectedly. While Ms. Carolyn was still grieving this loss, she experienced the added stress of no longer being able to stay in their home. With nowhere else to turn, Ms. Carolyn began living out of her car.

“We had shared that home together for so long,” Ms. Carolyn told Light House staff, “but with my aging mind and my heart problems, I just couldn’t manage it all on my own. All the paperwork and costs changed over in a way I couldn’t make work and I was told to get out. I lost a lot. When you lose your housing, there are a whole lot of things that quickly just fall apart too. Sleep, doctor visits, keeping your documents up to date, phone bills, and just not having a mailing address for these things. I didn’t know until I got into that bind.”

“We had shared that home together for so long,” Ms. Carolyn told Light House staff, “but with my aging mind and my heart problems, I just couldn’t manage it all on my own. All the paperwork and costs changed over in a way I couldn’t make work and I was told to get out. I lost a lot.”

Last year, after almost six months of living out of her car, Ms. Carolyn ended up passing out from heat stroke during a hot summer day. She woke up in the emergency room not even knowing how she got there.

“The staff who were assisting me asked me for some basic information, and when they asked what my address was I told them it was my car. They thought I was joking. Once they realized my situation though they told me about The Light House and helped connect me with their staff.”

At The Light House, Ms. Carolyn found a path towards home. She moved into The Light House Emergency Residential Program and was provided with a comfortable place to sleep, food, and other vital wraparound care. With the help of her Light House Client Advocate, Ms. Carolyn was able to coordinate medical care for her heart condition, secure benefits, and begin searching for housing.

“The staff there are angels,” Ms. Carolyn said when asked about her time at The Light House. “They all call me Grandma and treat me like they would their own grandmother. My Client Advocate, Monique, held my hand through all of it. My memory can be a little slow now with my age, but she helped me with my appointments, paperwork, and treated me as one of her own. She even drove me to my heart surgery and waited for me the whole time. She could have just left, but she waited until I was done so I wouldn’t be alone.”

Ms. Carolyn progressed well during her time at The Light House and we are happy to report that she recently moved into her very own senior living apartment. Thanks to Light House supporters, Ms. Carolyn was even provided with a new bed and other basic household essentials like linens, dishes, and cleaning supplies.

Last year, after almost six months of living out of her car, Ms. Carolyn ended up passing out from heat stroke during a hot summer day. She woke up in the emergency room not even knowing how she got there.

“The staff who were assisting me asked me for some basic information, and when they asked what my address was I told them it was my car. They thought I was joking. Once they realized my situation though they told me about The Light House and helped connect me with their staff.”

At The Light House, Ms. Carolyn found a path towards home. She moved into The Light House Emergency Residential Program and was provided with a comfortable place to sleep, food, and other vital wraparound care. With the help of her Light House Client Advocate, Ms. Carolyn was able to coordinate medical care for her heart condition, secure benefits, and begin searching for housing.

“The staff there are angels,” Ms. Carolyn said when asked about her time at The Light House. “They all call me Grandma and treat me like they would their own grandmother. My Client Advocate, Monique, held my hand through all of it. My memory can be a little slow now with my age, but she helped me with my appointments, paperwork, and treated me as one of her own. She even drove me to my heart surgery and waited for me the whole time. She could have just left, but she waited until I was done so I wouldn’t be alone.”

“Chef Chip too, he is number one in the kitchen. He makes the best breakfast and always talks to me with kindness. On the morning of my heart surgery I came down early and told him I had an important mission that day and so he prayed with me. And you know what? I came out on top. And don’t forget Josh at the front desk! Josh is a sweetheart. He’s always smiling. He calls me Grandma and always asks me how I’m doing today. I can tell he likes his job and he puts his whole heart into it.”

Ms. Carolyn progressed well during her time at The Light House and we are happy to report that she recently moved into her very own senior living apartment. Thanks to Light House supporters, Ms. Carolyn was even provided with a new bed and other basic household essentials like linens, dishes, and cleaning supplies.

“It’s been a hard few years, but I’m comfortable and safe now. I feel secure in my new home, especially knowing that the staff at The Light House know where I’m at. I know that they are always going to be there for me.”

Your support of The Light House ensures that we can continue to provide neighbors, like Ms. Carolyn, with the life-changing programs and services they need to find their path back home.

“It’s been a hard few years, but I’m comfortable and safe now. I feel secure in my new home, especially knowing that the staff at The Light House know where I’m at. I know that they are always going to be there for me. I’m grateful too because I’m a witness to the good works being done at The Light House. I had never been to a shelter, so even at over 70 years old it was brand new experience for me. I had gone my whole life without considering that this would be part of my path, but I thank God that The Light House is a place where lives can change for the better. If you’re in a situation like I was in, just follow their light.”

DONATE NOW during our June Matching Gift Challenge and you will DOUBLE your impact!

Your support of The Light House ensures that we can continue to provide neighbors, like Ms. Carolyn, with the life-changing programs and services they need to find their path back home.