Betsy on her way to finding a home

Posted on August 4th, 2016

Betsbetsyy came to Simpson Housing Services last year after leaving her apartment in North Minneapolis. Her neighbors were violent and she didn’t feel safe there, but had nowhere else to go. She heard about the Simpson Shelter lottery for women and participated, keeping a positive attitude.

Betsy’s positive thinking paid off; she won a bed for 28 days. Those chances have led Betsy to where she is today, applying for her own apartment. She’s been on the cusp of living on her own before and been denied, but she’s working with Simpson’s Rapid Re-Housing Advocate and Betsy isn’t letting a denial get the best of her.

“I love the people here. They’ve given me so many chances. They’ve given me tough love,” Betsy says of the Simpson Housing Shelter staff.

 She is involved in all of the services Simpson has to offer, saving her money, staying at the shelter, and comforting other women. “If you need any help, you can come to me,” she says to other women.

Betsy’s looking forward to her own apartment and she wants to volunteer with Simpson in the future. “We have a bond,” she says of all the guests, volunteers and staff at Simpson. “I just like the people.”

Advocates often go above and beyond for shelter guests, providing support, connections to other community resources, even taking guests to doctor’s appointments, like when Betsy needed help getting to and from chemotherapy. A three-time cancer survivor, Betsy knows what it’s like to fight and she’s not about to give up on having a place to call home.

For three decades, Simpson’s goal has been to meet the immediate need for emergency shelter and create a welcoming community based around dignity, respect, and fairness. Each shelter guest is paired with an advocate who can provide support and help connect guests to housing and other community resources.

“The whole shelter knows Betsy and is rooting for her – the guests, the staff, the volunteers – anyone who’s come through here knows who she is after their first five minutes in the building,” adds Robert Hofmann, Simpson’s Shelter Manager. “We’ll miss her energy when she moves out but I know all of us want to see her get back to what she deserves – a safe, dignified place of her own.”