It was a Tuesday morning, per our typical plan, all the staff were out of the house for our regular Tuesday meetings. On this particular Tuesday, our volunteer at the house, Esther, gave us a call about 10am. Esther alerted us that the police called and were asking us to help with a homeless mother who was loitering at a hardware store.

We finished our meetings, drove back to town and met with Teresa. We picked her up, drove to a nearby McDonald’s and began the intake process. We condensed the process recognizing that we could not leave her to spend the night on the streets.

Teresa came home to Maggie’s Place that afternoon.

Shortly after, Teresa celebrated her birthday, and in true Maggie’s Place fashion, we honored her! There was a cake, candles, terrible singing, simple but love-filled gifts, affirmations and discussion of goals for the upcoming year. At some point, Teresa had tears in her eyes- when asked if she was alright, she responded “I’m just so touched, these are the first birthday gifts I’ve ever received. Thank you.”
The next day Teresa handed me the original handwritten version of the poem below.