Bev lived much of her adult life in abusive or unstable situations. In April of 2000, she was traveling from York with a friend who said they could move in with his mother in Coatesville. He suggested they stay overnight at the Water Street Rescue Mission in Lancaster. There he offered to put her purse with her savings of $500 in his locker for safe keeping. In the morning he and her purse were gone.
One year later, Bev was named Tabor’s Housing Client of the Year. Here is what her counselor had to say about her then: “Despite the set backs in her life, she was determined to start afresh and make a bright future for herself. And she did just that through the combined efforts of Water Street Rescue Mission and Tabor’s Shelter to Independent Living program. Because of her persistence, Bev is now in an apartment of her own, is an active saver … and has paid off all of her past debts. She has shown perseverance through educational classes and been an exemplary client at Tabor. Bev has demonstrated a will to succeed against all odds and taken the initiative to plan for the future.”
In the more recent years, Bev has successfully maintained her own apartment for 8 years and her job at Bird-In-Hand Family Inn and Restaurant for 6 years. She stays out of debt and plans ahead for fluctuations in her pay check. Realizing there would be no relative to handle her funeral arrangements, she prepaid her funeral expenses and tombstone. In 2005, Bev experienced a bump in her life journey and was able to contact Tabor again and receive services to stabilize her housing. She identified what was jeopardizing her housing stability and with her case manager's assistance, she relocated to Bird-In-Hand where she can walk to her job and maintain a safer distance from those who may take advantage of her. She takes the bus to town for appointments and to the shopping centers for groceries and supplies. After relocating, Bev found a very supportive, caring family community at the Bird-In-Hand United Methodist Church. She attends every Sunday, only missing when her job needs her to work, and helps out at church when she can.
Her case manager says that when Bev sets her mind on a goal she is very determined. Bev tried very hard to learn to read, but is not able to do more than write her own name. Her case manager marvels at what Bev has achieved in spite of her limitations and how she makes plans for the future.
Bev credits her STIL case manager with teaching her how to budget and save her money and to be a good tenant. It is natural for Bev to reach out to those who need help. She says the hardest thing for her to learn was to not hand her money out to anyone who asks. Her case manager helped her to learn to look out for herself. Her goals are to continue to pay her rent and bills on time, maintain her employment and be a contributing member of her community.