Linda Cole: Beginning Again

Linda Cole is a former Next Step participant, and continues to represent Samaritan Ministry through our Speaker's Bureau (which is composed of former participants who serve as role models and mentors for current participants struggling with homelessness or poverty).

After the financial crisis of the late 2000s, Linda, like so many others, was living in a shelter as she tried to find stable housing. She eventually found herself at our Northern Virginia (NOVA) office, eager to work with Lead Caseworker Gail Davis to identify and get into permanent housing. As Linda says, "[Gail] was really looking out for me -- showing local places I could go to like food banks, and teaching me how to make things last. She taught me how to be resourceful, especially when dealing with day-to-day living."

Linda achieved her goal of gaining permanent housing in less than six months, and in addition to working with the Speaker's Bureau, is now a regular volunteer at our NoVa office where she works as a Front Office Coordinator (FOC) substitute, and shares information about local resources with Gail and other participants. As Sy Jones, our Volunteer Manager who has worked closely with Linda, she is "so willing to help, very very service oriented. She's dedicated to her family and her community in NoVa, and has given back ten times over. A true Ambassador for Samaritan Ministry".

Linda, thank you for your service!