Catholic Charities, singing build confidence

When she was but a little girl, Beverly’s mother formed The Proctor Children, a group of three sisters united in song. When she talks about singing with The Proctor Children and singing with church choirs throughout her life, Beverly’s smile can light the whole room.

In her darkest days, Beverly, 55, experienced homelessness and slept on a mat on the floor of Catholic Charities’ Dorothy Day Center. All of her belongings fit into one suitcase and she had few friends.

“I made the best of it, but I didn’t like being there,” she said. Then, Beverly had no money, no job and saw more problems than possibilities.

When space opened up, Beverly was able to move into Catholic Charities’ Mary Hall. There, she has a room with a door that locks. She needn’t wait in line each night, hoping there will be space for her on the floor. She has a room to call her own.

Mary Hall is also where Beverly found her voice again, singing in the Dorothy Day Choir project, which meets next door at Catholic Charities’ Saint Paul Office.

“Being in the choir, it helps me better myself, to keep going. I had low self esteem when I first got here. I’m starting to get back to the things I like to do,” she said.

Beverly and the rest of the choir sang at the groundbreaking ceremony for Higher Ground Saint Paul, a pivotal day in the new vision for the Dorothy Day Center. She again performed at the Saint Nicholas Annual Dinner. When the crowd gave them a standing ovation, they also gave her a confidence boost.

Beverly has taken great strides on her pathway out of poverty this year; she’s hoping the next year brings even more positive change.

“I got a job now. I feel good because I accomplished a lot since I’ve been here. My self esteem is better and I feel like I can go out there and conquer the world,” she said. “I got a good heart. I’m trying to be a better person.”

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