Brenda started losing her sight over 20 years ago, but there was trouble long before then.
She was bullied in school at about the same time her vision problems started. Brenda dropped out, and no one suggested otherwise. WORK was what her family did. All of them.
They moved to Mississippi when she was 9. All the kids worked after school picking cotton and digging potatoes. Dad was a cement mixer and mom was a housekeeper. "We had fun. I enjoyed it - no, I loved it."
By 9th grade, the bullying at school got worse for Brenda. The logical thing to do was to drop out and go to work, so that's what Brenda did. For the next 15 years, she worked at a local convenience store.
She met her husband there, and the couple had 5 children. When she was 30, Brenda had her 1st of many eye surgeries. As her eyesight deteriorated, so did their marriage. The kids had grown and left, and so did her husband.
He moved to Chattanooga. This year, Brenda arrived in Chattanooga, too, hoping to reconcile with her husband. She has no income, no stable place to live. She's further trapped by her blindness. She's applied for disability, but that takes a little minute.
She's lonely. Someone told her to try MetMin, so she did. For the meantime, you know. Pretty soon she'll be fine.
Meantime, she has food and plenty of other supports that will see her through. More than that, Brenda now has a community. She's not alone anymore.
It's rough out there for all our poor and vulnerable guests. Hard to imagine how much harder it is for Brenda. She can't even see where she is. She can't even see what she's up against.
There's a reason they call it the MEAN-time.