The City of Asheville has been sharing stories from people staying at the emergency shelter at the Ramada Inn for the past month. This is the final story in our series. We want to thank everyone who has been so kind as to share their stories with us, and we believe that these stories have made a great impact in our community.
Today’s story focuses on Victoria G., who’s been staying in the shelter with her boyfriend. Victoria’s story brings up an important point: safety. Too often, the community conversation around homelessness focuses on people who are not homeless worried about how people who are experiencing homelessness could affect their personal safety. While it’s important to make sure everyone in our community is safe, we often lose the perspective that people who are experiencing homelessness face the greatest threats to their personal safety.
Women especially are at increased risk — life expectancy among chronically homeless women is 52, which is four years less than that of chronically homeless men. This is a stark reversal of the general population trend of women having greater life expectancy than men. Homelessness for anyone is an experience that can be fraught with trauma and daily risks to safety.
In her own words
From Victoria G.:
How has Sunrise helped you?
“They have been there when I needed someone to talk to. They have helped me and my boyfriend ATL get into housing which this will be the first time in four years that we will have permanent shelter. We are in the process of getting the paperwork needed so I can get an ID and start working again. Sunrise is also helping me get my Duke registered as a service animal because of my emotions problems and epilepsy! “
How has living in the shelter helped you?
“It’s given me and my boyfriend a place to stay and provides us a hot shower everyday. We can finally feel safe and not have to worry about people stealing our stuff from the campsite we use to live in. We get hot meals every now and then and that is such a great help. The shelter has kept us safe long enough for us to get housing so we can start living our lives again.”
We are incredibly grateful for having the opportunity to provide Victoria G., her boyfriend ATL, and many other people with a safe place to stay while they figure out their next steps in achieving permanent housing. We know many people have benefited in various ways from the emergency shelter at the Ramada Inn. Between June 1 and October 24, four people moved to permanent housing, 24 engaged in substance use treatment (including MAT and detox), 71 applied for jobs, 29 started employment, and 131 connected with foundational supports and other crucial services (including obtaining IDs, SNAP, Medicaid, and education). We’re so proud of everyone who has reached out for support and achieved so much in such a short period of time. You are showing us just how much is possible when people are provided with appropriate shelter and support.
Thanks again to Tony & Lisa, Timmy W., Jason S., and Victoria G. for sharing their stories and making a real impact in our community!