Mildred Dickson is passionate about her role as an advocate for people experiencing homelessness. It stems from a string of unfortunate personal circumstances that she said eventually left her homeless and living in local shelters.
“I see the effects it had on me. But God was able to right my path,” Dickson said.
The 63-year-old is now on a journey towards stability, thanks largely to Mary’s Home, a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System that provides medical respite services for women experiencing homelessness.
Dickson became the first resident of Mary’s Home on March 24. She considers herself somewhat of a trailblazer and hopes the women who come after her benefit by seeing how she was able to use the services to get healthy, prepare for two upcoming surgeries and transition into permanent housing.
On June 30, Dickson moved into her own apartment at Greenbridge Commons, a permanent supportive housing project designed for people who have experienced chronic homelessness.
Dickson said the move is yet another important step on her journey to achieve her goals. She plans to become a fashion designer and continue working as an advocate for those who are homeless.
“Homelessness is an issue that is not going to go away. It must be addressed,” she said.
“It's not going to be something that you can put just a Band-Aid on it and forget about it. You're going to have to figure out how to get people housed permanently and to address their needs temporarily.”