Thank you so much for your support of Rosie’s Place’s Food Programs. Thanks to generous friends like you, we are providing meals and groceries to more women and children in need, than ever before. Our Dining Room is truly the heart and hub of Rosie’s Place—providing over 100,000 healthy and hearty meals to thousands of poor and homeless women and their children every year.
From July 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015:
At Rosie’s Place we are proud to serve our guests not only hearty meals, but healthy meals which meet our high nutritional standards.
100% of meals served included 1 serving of fruit
99% of lunches and dinners served included 2 servings of vegetables
99% of lunches and dinners served contained at least 12 grams of fiber
98% of meals served included the recommended sodium content 99% of meals served included the recommended fat and calorie content
96% of breakfasts served included foods containing at least 3 grams of fiber.
Because many of our guests work during our Dining Room’s meal times and/or have families who are hungry too, we offer Rosie’s Place Groceries. Here again, we make every effort to provide healthy and fresh food to our guests as well as nutritional recipes and fact sheets.
Our Groceries program provided 11,301 women and their households, with two bags (20 to 30 pounds) of groceries. Of these guests, 1,216 women or 11% were first-time users.
Food brings people together—especially at Rosie’s Place. Below is a story of two Rosie’s Place guests, Norma and Beverly, who often visit our Dining Room to enjoy good meal and good company.
Two Women Find a New Start and a Dear Friendship at Rosie’s Place
Norma and Beverly are sharing a laugh over lunch in the Rosie’s Place Dining Room. Laughter is something that comes more easily to them now because their lives are on the upswing. And because they’ve found each other.
Beverly’s path literally crossed with Norma’s this spring when they met in the predawn hours at the Rosie’s Place running/walking group. Three times a week, at 6:30 a.m., our guests take part in exercise around the neighborhood. The two women, who are close in age, struck up a conversation immediately and were amazed at the many things they had in common.
“We just started talking about what we were going through and found we have very similar backgrounds,” says Beverly. “Norma helped me out right off the bat and we’ve been inseparable ever since.”
Norma had started coming to Rosie’s Place earlier this year as she worked to heal from addiction and a nervous breakdown. Beverly had recently been evicted–illegally–from the East Boston apartment she shared with her 12-year-old granddaughter, Justice. When they were put out, Justice found placement in a residential program for adolescents with mental health issues and Beverly got a bed in our Overnight shelter, knowing she would be safe in a place where she had received help so many times before.
Through sharing their histories, the two women found understanding and support. Both women had their first babies at age 16; Norma went on to have two more children and Beverly had one. Both women have worked from a very young age and were striving to finish their bachelor’s degrees. They both struggled with bad relationships, depression and substance abuse. And they both knew they were ready to move forward with positivity and hope.
Norma came to Beverly’s aid when a former boyfriend stalked her at Rosie’s Place. “He was trying to chase her up the ramp and I helped her to be strong and get him to stay away from her,” remembers Norma. She invited Beverly to stay with her when her first 21 days in our Overnight program ended. They started eating together in the Dining Room, enrolled in smoking cessation and other classes here and continued in the walking group. They gave each other encouragement as our Advocacy department assisted Beverly in applying for disability payments and Norma in seeking subsidized housing so she could move out of her market rate room. Beverly relied on our shelter as she worked to resolve her homelessness.
“Trust is everything to me,” says Norma. “There’s always gossip, but I knew Beverly was a rare friend when I confided in her and she never repeated what I said.” Beverly adds, “I’m a little tougher than Norma and sometimes I see people who are trying to get over on her. I make sure no one takes advantage of her.”
As Norma works to rebuild her life, sobriety has been a large component of her progress. She credits in part a Christian church in Jamaica Plain she recently joined and, of course, she has invited Beverly to come along. “I was happy to go because I am grateful for my Rosie’s Place community and wanted to thank God,” says Beverly. They were both baptized recently and have found a second community through Bible study and Sunday services. “I’m a work in progress,” says Beverly. “We both are.”
Good things surely are happening for Norma and Beverly, none more amazing than the phone calls they received on the same day. Norma learned that an affordable one-bedroom apartment in Dorchester would be available October 1, and Beverly was told she would be moving into a new apartment in Chelsea by the holidays. One of Rosie’s Place’s stabilization workers will meet with Beverly monthly now that she is housed and is helping her get settled with furniture and other household items. Knowing she will be reunited with Justice by Christmas is the best present Beverly could receive.
Norma has stayed close to her family in the area and, on Thanksgiving, one more place–for Beverly–was set at their table. Norma says her life is richer with a close friend. “It’s important to know you’re not alone,” she says. “Beverly has become the sister I never had. She keeps me going, and you need that sort of friend.” Beverly agrees with a loud “yes!” and they both laugh again.
Thank you for supporting our critical Food Programs. Your generosity not only sustains us, it inspires. Rosie’s Place takes great solace in friends like you and we know that our work will continue because of your support.