Liz first learned she was HIV positive in 2017. The diagnosis was a shock, and sadly the beginning of what would come to be some very tough years for her. Her husband at the time tested negative for the virus and subsequently left her. By 2018 she was homeless. That’s when she found House of Ruth.
“While searching the internet for places I could go for help, I came across House of Ruth,” Liz said. “I knew almost instantly that’s where I wanted to be.”
Benefitting from having a safe place to stay and the support of House of Ruth’s caring staff, Liz was able to get things back on track. When she got a job serving as a crisis counselor for mental health and substance abuse hospitals, she was excited for the chance to help others. Then in 2021, she began to feel a pain in her side. A trip to the doctor confirmed another devastating diagnosis: cancer.
“I was so close to death,” Liz said, “but was fortunate to have a surgery where most of the cancer was removed. I was eventually given the wonderful news that there was no longer any evidence of the disease. That was a new beginning for my healing.”
With help from House of Ruth’s case managers and support specialists, Liz was able to begin receiving her Social Security payments relatively quickly, which meant she only went a few months without income. Inspired by all those who helped her when she needed it most, she decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Social Work. She’ll also be buying her own home soon through the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
“Before coming to House of Ruth, I had very little self-respect,” she said. “The amazing thing is that no matter where you are, the House of Ruth staff is ready to meet you and do whatever they can to raise you up. I have no doubt I would not have survived without House of Ruth. I will be forever thankful to them and all who helped me get to where I am now.”