The first night of living at Catholic Charities’ Higher Ground Saint Paul was a time for meditation and reflection for Amy.
“I absorbed everything. I thought about this past year and how I’d like to move forward. I was so grateful this building was completed and I got in,” she said. “I was so happy to sign this lease here.”
Amy, 40, was an Army brat who grew up without a home base. She has been living locally for nearly a decade and has adopted Minnesota as her forever home. Before moving into Higher Ground, she slept on the first floor of Catholic Charities’ Dorothy Day Center. Just a row of chairs separated the women from the men there. It never really got dark at night, never really got quiet, never really got empty.
“Here, there’s no more worrying about who might be beside you and who might not be beside you. There’s a safety. I can stretch my legs out and not bother anybody,” she said.
“It’s easier to reflect on my personal life plan and how I’d like to move forward in my own personal space.”
It’s been about two years since Amy has had keys to claim as her own. She has some heady problems, but believes her positive attitude will help her rise above.
Getting jobs has proven difficult with a misdemeanor on her record. She’s a victim of identity theft and looming student loan debt and health challenges are always on her mind. She has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTST), has suffered several small strokes, has seizures, panic attacks and heart problems. Due to her health, she is unable to have a driver’s license.
“Being in a nice, calm place, my health issues will improve and now I can choose to eat all organic, less meat and less sodium,” she said. “I’m in a position to work on myself and my health better than I have been in the past.”