Moving Out of the Shelter to the Northwest Side

Apartment Building

Hiten Patel/Flickr

On February 13, 2013, the day of the new Street Sense Edition, I sold my morning papers and went to Writers’ Group. It was a very busy morning for me until the afternoon rolled around. I became hungry and needed to rewind a bit. So, I decided to take the bus to Bethany Center to eat lunch. As I was waiting for the bus, I saw a friend of mine sitting on the bench in Franklin Park and it dawned on me that I owed him a dollar.  So, I walked up to him and asked him if he had $4.00 in change.  He fumbled into his pocket and said “no” that he didn’t have any single bills. My friend says to me that I could go across the street to the hot dog vendor and buy a grape soda for him. I started to do just that when the bus pulled up. I didn’t want to miss this bus because I was pressing for time to get to Bethany Center before 1pm. So, I tried to get my friend’s attention to let him know that I would get his grape soda later. As I was walking towards the bus a gush of wind came from nowhere and I felt someone’s hands gently pushing me towards the bus. As I turned around there was no one behind. So, I was thinking to myself “I’m losing it”.


I finally reached Bethany’s Center to have lunch before 1pm just as I was about to settle down to eat my lunch and to unwind. I heard my name coming from the director of Bethany Center. Ms. Evelyn Green was asking if anyone had seen Aida Peery? Director Green finally saw me sitting at the table about to eat and said to me “ Ms Peery, I’ve been looking for you all morning and I want to talk to you and grab your plate of food.”


I was thinking to myself “what did I do wrong now?” So, I grabbed my plate of food and followed Ms. Green into her office. As I was carrying my food and walking behind her I finally asked her the fatal question “What did I do wrong now?”  Ms. Green said to me “you didn’t do anything wrong.”


“But, I am going to ask if you want something and you probably will say no you don’t want it.”  So, I said, “try me.”


Ms. Green offered me an efficiency apartment. Believe me she didn’t have to ask me twice. I did an intake the next day with a licensed social worker, Mrs. Drago.  I told Ms. Green and Mrs. Drago that I didn’t have a pay stub to show that I can be responsible in paying rent.  They both told me that I didn’t need to worry about that right now.  All I needed to do was to meet with a social worker twice a month, on my progress of finding a full-time job and live “stress-free!” God is so good!


Once I moved into my new apartment, I dropped to my knees on the newly clean carpet and praised Jesus Christ Son of God to thank them both. I also want to give thanks to Bethany Center and N Street Village for giving me this wonderful blessing and opportunity to be able to “reach into my purse for keys to an apartment and to close the door behind me.”

It took me a week to realize that I don’t have to share a bathroom, living room, dinning room, I can actually hear the radio/TV without interruptions of 90 women all talking at once. Bethany Center and N Street Village thank you and thank you.


****I would like to make a correction from my last article “Stinking Thinking” that I mentioned Eleanor Norton should be speaking up for the homelessness in DC it should have had her title Representative Eleanor Norton.

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