Patty Smith will always remember June 16, 2015 as the best day of her life. She remembers sitting on the stone steps outside Street Sense’s red door. She remembers hearing her case manager’s voice as he approached, and she will never forget turning around to the words informing her that it was time to go to her new home.
Savoring every detail, Patty recounts her moving day.
“It was a great, great day,” she asserts. “We went up to Woodley House and they showed me the third floor. We went into my room where there were two beds, a dresser, a lamp, curtains, blankets, and a radio,” she recalls with pride.
Patty, who is approaching her 12th year with Street Sense, is celebrating her two-year anniversary in housing. Two years ago, she moved into Valenti House, a flagship home in Woodley Park that helps men and women gain the stability necessary in order to return to or function within their communities. This house is one of the residential opportunities available through Woodley House, an organization that gives individuals living with chronic mental illnesses the opportunity to further their independence.
“They teach us how to live; they teach us how to take care of ourselves,” Patty explains.
To Patty, the Valenti House is a warm, welcoming, red and white brick home, and the cheery yellow carpeting blanketing the stairway reminds her of her mother’s house. But most of all, following years spent in and out of shelters, living at the Valenti House means freedom.
“The best part is being able to come and go as I please,” she professes. “Also changing my clothes, showering when I want to, taking baths when I want to, buying what I want to buy, and eating what I want to eat.”
Currently thriving in the program and enjoying her increasingly independent lifestyle, Patty hopes one day to be able to move into a shared apartment or acquire one of her own.
“I just like being in housing,” she exclaims.
Congratulations go out to Patty on her anniversary of this momentous day.