One late afternoon, we got a phone call from a case worker at Cardinal Ritter, who was trying to help Ms. M, a 65 year-old senior, living in her car. She told us about Ms. M’s case, that she is trying to get her into a shelter before the dangerously cold winter months arrive. Ms. M also has some health issues and needed many other resources. We set up an appointment for her to meet with a Deaconess nurse, from where she was also able to get food assistance.

After checking on her health and talking about her situation, we found that she was a victim of identity theft, then she found out the IRS had somehow mistakenly declared her as deceased. Because of this, she could not take any benefit from the government. Even during the current COVID-19 crisis where other people are receiving stimulus checks, she was not able. This is one of the reasons that leaves her homeless, living in her car.

The Deaconess nurse gave her resources for food assistance, made referrals to places she can come for shower and laundry, and a few places that she is eligible to apply for affordable housing and able to bring her dog with her – the only emotional support she has at the moment. There is one small problem, since she is living in a car, and going to places to apply for resources cost her gas, which she was not able to afford, as well as money to pay for her medication.

Through one of our programs for seniors, Deaconess Nurse Ministry was able to purchase gas cards so Ms. M can drive to places to apply for benefits. We will also be paying for her medication, but can only do so once due to limited fund. Mrs. M said: “Deaconess Nurse is so wonderful in getting things done right away. She got approval for my gas card and have them the next day for me to pick up, which was amazing and very unique situation that I have ever been. She was willing to meet me at a convenient location. She gave me so many helpful referrals. I was amazed and grateful for Deaconess Nurse Ministry. Nurse Reta is so great. I can see that her heart is in her work, she really cares about her clients. She loves her job, loves to help people in need.”

Testimony like this warms our hearts, knowing that we did something good, and we try every day to do better, to help more people. There are so many people like Ms. M out there who, sometimes, just need someone to lend a hand to keep them safe, healthy, and change their life forever.

When you support Deaconess Nurse Ministry, you are that someone who saves someone’s life, changes someone else’s life forever. Deaconess Nurse Ministry, and our clients are forever grateful for you. During this cold, wintry weather you can support our nurses by donating to our “Cold Weather Appeal” campaign today. Your donation will help Deaconess Nurse Ministry start off with a wonderful year of caring for our neighbors like Ms. M.