Contrary to what people typically think, homelessness is a temporary experience for most. Without a support system or enough resources, losing a job or getting sick can leave a person nowhere to go. But there are resources out there. And thanks to those homeless services, homelessness only lasts about a month for 70% of homeless Utahns. Maria was one of those individuals.
“Lemme see,” Maria began, “I was living in Pennsylvania, and then my brother got sick. I came back to live in Salt Lake City—but a misunderstanding meant I couldn’t stay with him. I called an old friend and rented a room, but he got evicted, so I had to leave too. So I started living in my car.”
“I really wanted to get off the street.”
“I started going to smoking cessation, and met a gentleman who smoked for 47 years,” Maria recounted. “His story gave me the motivation to quit. From there I went to other wellness classes.”
Fourth Street Clinic’s wellness classes give patients health education training in a group setting to practice tools they need to maintain a healthy life. Maria then connected with medical providers and began receiving regular care.
“I really wanted to get off the street,” Maria said.
And she did. A month and a half later, Maria now lives in her own apartment downtown and is working full-time.
“I saved up my money and moved as quickly as I could. Fourth Street Clinic is an awesome place, it really is; it’s a godsend for a lot of people. My world has changed completely! I stopped smoking and am motivated to stay away from drugs and actually have a life.”
Because of the work of many providers, case managers, and community resources, women like Maria find stable footing.
“it’s a hard journey, but it’s doable,” Maria said with a smile.
Donate to Fourth Street Clinic today and you give vulnerable Utahns access to resources they can’t find anywhere else. All donations matched now until December 10 during Give One Raise Two!