On my way to my new building, Ruby ended up calling me. I was in the van.
It was good to hear from her. She was waiting to go to her second interview for her own place and was very excited as she isn’t liking the stay at the Ramada inn.
She said every 10 minutes security knocks on the door to check on the clients. At the Ramada in the clients are doubled up.
She said she can’t wait to be in her own place because she is tired of going outside to smoke. She made me laugh. Smoking is very important to Ruby. She is a the ultimate chain smoker, smoking nearly more then half a pack a day.
She is also expecting to receive a second stimulus check, which she said would help her get the things she needs for her apartment. She isn’t sure if it’s supportive housing or a citypheps apartment. I think they placed her in supportive housing. But non the less she was waiting in the park before her appointment.
I have actually missed Ruby since being split up. Although she isn’t well educated and doesn’t speak well either, she was a friend.
I’m going to miss hanging out with her and listening to her stories of when she was living with her boyfriend in crown heights before he fell ill with dementia.
Ruby is an ex crack head, and the fact that she pulled herself out of being on drugs is remarkable. She quit crack cold turkey. She was on crack for almost 20 years.
She is also a rape survivor. She still has panick attacks and anxiety about it but has been able to substatain herself as best as she can.
I’m going to miss hearing about how when she was a younger woman she would party with her friend at clubs and go dancing.
Her favorite musician is Micheal Jackson, and she was frequently watch his videos on YouTube. YouTube is her favorite app, and she was just too happy when she saw me last to show me her new phone and show me that she was able to watch Micheal Jackson videos.
I didn’t meet Ruby until my third of fourth week at the shelter, even though she was in my dorm. I was getting clothes from donations, and she ended up giving me a black denim jump suit. I thanked her and gave her a big hug. I asked her name and she told me. From then on we remained close.
The guards would call us partners in crime when ever we left the building together.
Her friendship helped kill time, and I appreciate it. The conversation wasn’t mind blowing, but it definitely helped listening to her stories. In her own way she is a survivor.
At one point she was getting food at a soup kitchen because she couldn’t make it to the snap office to renew her benefits. I asked her how it felt to go to a soup kitchen. She said it’s very much like lining up for food at the shelter.
Her boyfriend was verbally abusive to her and she would often question why she stayed, but she had no place else to go. She said she never saw herself living in a shelter until her daughter brought her to one.
I really hope that Ruby survives the next chapter of her life and is able to live independently. I hope that she is able to get the care coordinator she needs so she is able to stay on top of everything. I worry about Ruby because I know she is not as quit witted as most. I just hope hope that she will be ok. But I am happy for her.