Participant Stories; Introducing Margret Guthrie

  • Margret Guthrie

Margret Guthrie is a bright, intelligent woman who is a former school principal. Margret is many things, but most significantly, she has been homeless for year.

You might think that Margret is an unusual case, but the caseworkers of Samaritan Ministry have seen an increase of people who – we assume – are out of poverty’s insidious reach.

Margret has been coming to Samaritan for almost a year. Things began to get difficult when her mother got sick, and with little to no contact with her six siblings, Margret was forced to become the primary caretaker for her mother.  Then her mother died. With a gap in her resume, she could not find a stable job.  She lost her home. Despite all of her challenges, she feels that she is in a periodofdiscernment and is working with the support of her church to discern God's call for her future.

Margret grew up around the world in international schools as a result of her mother’s diplomatic service in Jamaica. Margret began her undergrad at American University in DC, which she felt was attractive because it had various courses she could do in the district and around the world. Ultimately, she found the most flexible career to be an educator, which was a fulfilling career she enjoyed until shortly after her mother fell ill, forcing Margret to leave her job to care for her dying mother.

Towards the end of 2013 she was living in a homeless shelter for women.  After living there for 8 months she felt that it wasn’t a good fit for her. Margret hasn’t given up hope to one day have a place of her own. She lives with a friend she refers to as her “gift.” 

She is currently working multiple temp jobs as they come up, and is actively applying for administrative jobs. Margaret’s goal is to secure a stable job as soon as possible. Samaritan helps her in various ways.  Her caseworker helps her deal with practical needs such as transportation, traveling kits, and food. Wait time for food stamps can be as long as XX days. Samaritan offers her groceries and toiletries to tie her over until her benefits arrive.

 Samaritan Ministry anticipates the practical needs of our participants. Samaritan Ministry provides a long term relationship that participants can count on; we work with them every step of the way for as long as they need us. Annette Carver, Margaret’s caseworker, has been very resourceful getting her the services, resources, and connections she needs to take the next step.

Margret seems determined to work through these trying times. Samaritan Ministry is here for her and wants to help her fulfil her career aspirations of becoming a college professor. Margaret loves D.C and wants to give back to this community by laying her roots down here. 


By Sara Yakhi