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Help give a little warmth this holiday season

Posted at 6:00 PM, Dec 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-10 18:00:54-05

BALTIMORE — Valerie Diggs is rebounding after the roughest patch of her life.

"I was homeless...I was unemployed, living by myself, struggling with my rent, electric, gas and water bill," she said. "I didn't know what I was going to do, I never thought it would happen to me."

At 67 years old, she was homeless for six months this year.

Now with a roof over her head, she's looking for clothing at the T.I.M.E. @ Pinderhughes Women's Emergency Shelter.

"Everything I have on right now, came out of this dressing room," Diggs explained.

In the city's only shelter for women Diggs has found a place to help her get back on her feet.

In addition to clothing, housing and food, the shelter helps clients with resources and support. But this year they could use a little support.

"We have 145 ladies in this shelter and our goal is to be able to give every lady a coat, hat and gloves and scarf. The donations just haven't been coming in the way that we need them to."

Shelter Director Stacy Walton started the coat drive. She says so far this year, they've only been able to provide coats for 15 to 20 percent of their residents.

"The closet is really crucial part of what we do here," Walton explained. "We do help with their applications for housing to get them back to independent living while they're here. We help with insurance, vital records, getting access to other resources and the clothing closet is just a piece of that."

The clothes for interviews and winter coats for warmth give the women a sense of confidence as they rebuild their lives.

Diggs says she doesn't know what she'd do without this shelter.

"I've got a nice clean room, with a bathroom right in there. I'm safe," she said. "They also taught me how to stand on my own two feet again to keep from being homeless."

"Everybody has a story and our goal is to just help them get back on their feet so they can get their lives back to where they want to be," Walton said.

"A year from now I see myself in my own little house helping somebody else," said Diggs.

If you’d like to donate some winter gear, they accept donations seven days a week. You can email for more details.