Teresa Batts: By the Grace of God

This is Teresa's testimony given at the 2017 Next Step Breakfast.

My name is Teresa Batts. I lived in Washington DC for over 20 years with employment and a home -- I have an associate's degree in Office Administration and have held down plenty of government jobs and have rented apartments to live in. My dad passed away in 2006 and I moved back to North Carolina to be with my Mom. While there, my aunt became ill and I cared for her until she passed away last June. After her funeral, I returned to DC and stayed with a friend while I looked for a job.

After 2 months, I wasn't able to find employment and I wasn't able to stay with my friend any longer. One day, I was telling a friend that I needed a DC ID and a replacement Social Security card, plus housing. We walked past the SE Samaritan Ministry office and she told me they could assist me in getting these documents. I came back the next morning at 9 AM, when the sign said they opened. It was extremely hot outside.
When I walked into Samaritan Ministry, it was cool. Leon was sitting at the front desk and he asked how he could help me. Just then, Naima walked down the steps from her office. We all know it is something about a woman being present -- I started to cry as I explained my situation about being homeless and sleeping in the park around the corner from the office.

Naima had me fill out the intake forms and we then went over my next steps. She gave me a next step card to go and get my Social Security card. She said we had to start with that first. I went and filled out the packet and got my Social Security card three days later. Now it was time to get my DC ID. This time I needed transportation. She gave me bus tokens for my travel. I talked with Naima and Daniel about housing. They made a call to Calvary Women's Transitional House, and I went the next day and they accepted me.

It was hard to put on a happy face but I knew God was watching over me and I was in a safe haven place to help me along the way. I came every day and used the computer in search of a job. One of the volunteers gave me a laptop so it helps with me seeking employment when Samaritan Ministry closes.

Tiara gave me a referral to get some interview clothes from Dress for Success, and I got some shoes from STRIVE.

I fell on hard times and by the grace of God, Samaritan Ministry was here to take this journey with me. I AM ALMOST THERE.

So far, I’ve gotten two part-time jobs as a cashier. I have interviewed for two full-time jobs and I am waiting to hear back.

My goal is to have a full-time job as an office administrator. I want to be able to move into my own apartment. When I have that full-time job, sometime one of you will walk in the door and you’ll look at me and say, “I remember you; you said you would get a full-time job, and here you are.”