Mary Ann Redd's Story
Mary Ann Redd spent most of her professional career working within several of Chicago’s financial institutions until she was laid off in 2009 during the country’s economic downturn.
As a result, Mary Ann fell behind in her rent. She asked her family for assistance. They tried to help but it wasn’t enough to sustain her. Eventually, she was evicted from her home. That’s when Mary Ann became homeless.
Although she was homeless, Mary Ann was able to work for a temp agency. She secured contract work for Chase Bank.
During the day, Mary Ann worked her contract job. However, after work was a problem.
“I had nowhere to go so I slept on the floor of the women’s bathroom at Chase,” says Mary Ann. “I had a backpack, which I was able to carry all my personal items with me. This worked out well for a while.”
Because of the badge Mary Ann was given, the building’s security team realized that she was not exiting the building at the end of the day. And so, they brought this situation to the attention of Mary Ann’s supervisor.
Her manager asked why she wasn’t leaving the building at the end of the day.
“Because, I’m homeless,” Mary Ann replied.
Another supervisor at Chase Bank was a volunteer at Franciscan Outreach. He introduced Mary Ann to a Franciscan Outreach case manager.
“When I met with the case manager, she asked me about all my needs,” Mary Ann says. “From there, I was provided with food, clothing, a personal mailing address, free laundry services, a transportation pass and gift cards, which are especially nice during the holidays.”
The case manager assessed Mary Ann’s situation. She asked if Mary Ann would consider participating in Franciscan Outreach’s Streets-to-Home Initiative (STHI) program. This program provides participants with the opportunity to move into secure, supportive housing, while engaging in individual and peer-group support so they may continue to gain stability and self-sufficiency in their lives.
“The Streets-to-Home program helps you to restart your life. They help you to find a job and place to stay. It acts as a springboard to an independent life,” Mary Ann says.
Through the STHI program, Mary Ann obtained a subsidized apartment. She regularly meets with her case manager, where she sets goals and works toward achieving those goals. And, she attends community peer-group meetings twice per month. The meetings cover such topics as health issues, anger management, financial management, life skills, self-care, relapse prevention, meditation and local resources.
“My case manager helped me to streamline my goals in an understandable way,” Mary Ann says. “My goals are to secure employment with a good salary that results in self-satisfaction and a strong standard of living.”