Life Re-Start After 50

How PPCS’s Positive Directions Transitional Housing Helped

We recently received a letter from a former client at Positive Directions. Before finding stability here, Pam was HIV-positive living on the streets in St. Louis. Below is an excerpt of her words to us.

Here at Positive Directions, things are moving at the speed of lightning, or so it seems. Things move at a much, much slower pace when you’re on the street. Here it is up, clean, eat, groups, therapies, cooking, shopping, washing, volunteering, appointments, treatment, résumés, medications, working, and if that isn’t enough, they squeeze in time for out-trips. My goodness! At first, I did not think that I was going to be able to work the program, but they did not let me spend time tripping about it. Do you know that the busier you are, the less time you spend thinking about what you cannot do?  So, I was off to the races with Positive Directions.

As I settled in for my transition time, I found myself enjoying the comforts of a home, the warmth of the bed, and the joy of a soak in the tub, all without having to worry about when any of it would be possible again. My first reality check was when I attempted to make a résumé. No jobs ever. Fifty-two years on earth and I have never had a job that was legal. Staff did not bat an eye. They just had me quickly switch gears from working to volunteering. A small smile returned to my face, but I still was suspicious as to who would allow me to volunteer at their facility.

I started volunteering at a small thrift store sorting clothes. Wow, what a job, I loved it! I was able to get some of the clothes for pennies. I am beginning to look good and feel good about myself.

I applied for housing subsidies and SSI, and I was still waiting for something to break in my favor when one of my daughters called. She said, “Momma, we are having a baby, and we need you to come live with us to help.” I wasn’t ready. Another two months passed when I got another call, “Momma, I need you, my pregnancy is now called high risk and I am bedridden, please come.” I left the program with the promise that I could return if needed.

I have been living with my daughter and son-in-law for about a year now. Things are going well, but I had to give my story. I am still volunteering. Positive Directions changed the course of my life by simply giving me a safe, clean, and warm place to stay. A friendly ear that listened, but most of all, a heart that cared. A place where a new life for me began and continues to thrive.

Oh yeah, it’s a boy! My new name, G-Ma!