A Home for Donna

Jan 7, 2019 | by Tara Barica, Social Services

On a surprisingly warm afternoon in December, Donna (56) sat on a sofa in her new apartment with a smile as bright as the sunbeams streaming in her windows. “I’ll be alright now,” she said.

“I’ll be alright.”

After experiencing homelessness for nearly her entire life, Donna now has a home of her own and she is equipped to not only deal with life, but enjoy her days.

Donna has spent most of her entire life living on the streets, self paying for a motel and staying at The Salvation Army’s Women’s Shelter. In 2018 Donna started working with her Case Manager to apply for housing in Madison and was put on a wait-list for a Single Room Occupancy apartment downtown. In order to stay on the wait-list Donna needed to call in monthly to show she was still interested. She did this- over and over again, month after month until she was finally at the top of the list.

“My case manager was more than helpful,” Donna said with a smile. “She’d stop whatever she was doing and get on the computer or make a phone call with me.”
These little moments of assistance have big impact for those in need, in so many ways.

In November of 2018 Donna finally got the call that she had been waiting for: She had an appointment with her potential new landlord. Her case manager attended the appointment with her and she was approved! Donna would be moving in to her first apartment! The Salvation Army’s DAWNS Rapid Rehousing Program was able to help support Donna and pay her security deposit and first month's rent as well as provide supportive services for a smooth transition from homelessness to housing.

Sitting on her new bed in her own bedroom, Donna was overcome with emotion on how many people had helped her come so far. “This is the first year I am able to hang my Christmas lights for more than one night in a hotel during the Holidays” Donna said.

Happy Holidays 

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