A widow unprotected on Raleigh’s streets

Pearl* was a retired medical assistant. Her life was pretty simple until she lost her husband. Suddenly, she had to manage a significant amount of money. She found herself caring for one ailing family member after another.

She had no idea how fast she would go broke.

“I took care of my sister when she had brain surgery. Then I cared for my brother after his heart surgery. My niece almost died from complications of surgery,” said Pearl. “I thought I was doing the right thing by helping everyone. I thought that when the money ran out, God would bless me and my family would help. But it didn’t work out that way.”

Instead, Pearl’s sister turned against her, a sad symptom of her brain disease. Almost overnight, Pearl ended up on the streets of Raleigh in the cold and rain.

I was beaten, raped and robbed,” Pearl told us of this terrible time. “I was doubting if there was even a God.”

When Pearl was released from the hospital, they brought her to Raleigh Rescue Mission. It was a mix up. The driver was supposed to go to another emergency shelter on the other side of town. We welcomed her in with a good, hot meal.

 “I believe it was God that brought me to the Mission,” she said. “With the group of people that are here, my belief in God is stronger now than it has ever been.”

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