Dear Friend of Loaves & Fishes,
For years Lucille was a daily guest of Maryhouse. With your support she and many other women and families received vital, life-sustaining resources, such as food, showers, clothes, and toiletry items.
Lucille was a fixture, always sitting in her chair in the Maryhouse lobby, persistently angry and hostile. As mental illness took hold, she became increasingly despondent and unable to care for herself; her life was no longer manageable.
Confused and disoriented, her thoughts were often persecutory and there was no escape from the voices. She pushed a cart, slept in parking garages, and believed Federal Marshals embedded a “two-way radio” in her shoe. Thinking others were out to harm her, Lucille was often involved in conflicts. She had no friends and was estranged from her family. Multiple incarcerations and involuntary hospitalizations did little to interrupt her ten years of chronic homelessness.
A breakthrough finally occurred when Lucille was given a Haldol injection, effectively extinguishing the auditory and visual hallucinations. Without delusional thoughts, Lucille began to “feel like her old self” again. It was then that a Maryhouse staff member was able to reach Lucille for the first time in years. As it so often does, an interpersonal connection helped foster personal growth.
The comprehensive care provided by Loaves & Fishes helped Lucille rediscover herself and learn essential life skills required for independence. All efforts reached fruition when, through the assistance of a federal program, HPRP (Homelessness Prevention and Rapid ReHousing), Lucille moved into her own apartment!
With an infectious enthusiasm and soft demeanor, Lucille’s concerns are now about furniture, daily chores, budgeting and entertaining house guests. In order to maintain self sufficiency and stay connected to her community, Lucille continues to utilize the Loaves & Fishes programs who embraced her in her darkest hour.
She has ongoing counseling at Genesis and now, when she visits Maryhouse, it’s to give back by donating diapers and formula to other families in need.
Lucille personifies the restorative nature of Loaves & Fishes. Her story reminds us that a miracle awaits each warm greeting, welcoming smile, or calling a guest by name.
It’s only through your prayers and support that Lucille reclaimed her life.
Sister Libby Fernandez Executive Director Loaves & Fishes
P.S. Your monthly donations allow us to be present for those in need on a regular basis. Please click here to donate today.