Healing Hands: From Homelessness to a Nursing Career
Angela has always had the drive and passion to help others. After caring for her father-in-law, who tragically passed away from cancer, she knew she wanted to become a nurse. Her unwavering desire led her to pursue a nursing career. She enrolled in courses at a local community college and embarked on her journey. After three years, Angela had only one year left and was preparing to get married. Everything seemed to be going smoothly until her husband tragically passed away just two days after their wedding. Faced with the weight of grief and the financial burdens that grew heavier, she had no choice but to drop out of school and was eventually evicted from her home. Angela described her time living on the streets as the worst period of her life.
“I was living out there in a tent. It’s a scary place out there. You are all alone, and nobody has your back.”
Angela endured homelessness for over a year and a half before finding shelter at one of VOA's facilities. While at the shelter, she faced numerous challenges but never had to worry about safety. Slowly, she began to piece her life back together and resumed her education. Returning to school was challenging and demanding, but through her unwavering determination and hard work, she eventually graduated and secured an internship with a local hospital.
“It was a constant challenge, year after year, wanting to give up. But I kept pushing, knowing it was the right thing to do.”
After interning at the hospital for a few months, they offered her a full-time position. For Angela, this was a new beginning – a chance for her to start caring for others again."What I love about nursing is that I get to hear the stories patients have, and I get to give them back their dignity."
Despite beginning an incredible career, Angela is still living at the shelter and facing challenges in securing affordable housing. She is working diligently with VOA's case workers to move into her own place soon.
It's important to realize that the person checking you out at the cash register, your barista, and even your nurse may be experiencing homelessness. These local heroes continue to push forward despite their challenges.
Support Angela and others like her in finding affordable housing.