In 2001, after her partner of 20 years died of breast cancer, Rhonda began a cycle of depression, hospitalization, and eventually homelessness. Previously she had worked as a data programmer for 17 years, served as an editor and grant writer, and published her work of creative nonfiction. But now she felt terrified and trapped in a downward spiral.
Rhonda discovered Mary’s Place through word of mouth in the fall of 2011, and began dropping in from time to time to get some relief from the shelters and streets. After a brutal attack a few months later, she turned to Mary’s Place and received the support she needed to recover emotionally, address her legal rights, and heal her fractured face.
Rhonda experienced a spiritual breakthrough as she recovered from her assault at Mary’s Place, and has been visiting every day since. Supported by other women she calls “family,” Rhonda found the safe and accepting community she needed to break her pattern of depression and begin rebuilding her life.
Rhonda has launched a poetry project for homeless women and says volunteering at Mary’s Place has been her “best medication.” She has faith that when the time is right she will be ready to live on her own again. Until then she continues writing and helping other women make positive transitions the way she has at Mary’s Place.