Julia Greeley: Help for our residents, help for our 'troubled times'
Julia Greeley, who was born into slavery and lived in physical pain and poverty her whole life, was honored during Mass at Denver's Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on June 7, the 101st anniversary of her death.
Mindful of a world overrun with violence and racial tension, Mass goers prayed that Julia, whose candidacy for sainthood began in 2016, would be declared a saint soon, "so she can be our intercessor in these most troubled times."
As our patron and namesake at the Julia Greeley Home, we recognize Julia as a role model for all women, and especially as an inspiration to our residents who also have faced poverty, abuse and hardship. Like Julia, their goal is to become independent women.
Danny, shown here with her beautifully crafted art boxes, uses her creativity to help move beyond physical pain of lupus, which resulted in the loss of her home. "Instead of moping around I use art as my coping mechanism," she says. "I like to see things take shape and come alive." In the peace and spiritual support of Julia Greeley Home, she is concentrating on moving toward her goal of independent living.
Kendra, a former athlete and gymnastics coach, is rebuilding her life after a "chaotic" period when she was living in her car and life was "scary and disconnected." Today the fear is gone, and she has found peace and time for self-reflection at the Julia Greeley Home. In our stable living environment she has gained perspective on the events that sent her into homelessness, and is inspired to pursue health care goals such as becoming a certified nurses' aide.
What is Julia's?
If a woman is motivated, we offer the tools to leave homelessness behind, for good. Each woman learns for herself how to break out of the cycle of homelessness.
Who was Julia?
Julia Greeley was a courageous, faith-filled, single woman who overcame slavery and poverty to become a source of hope to others even less fortunate than she.
“Thank you Julia Greeley, you were a light for me when I could not see the way!’
The words are like Sylvia Bailey herself -- spontaneous, spirited, luminous. Sylvia graduated from the Julia Greeley Home program in 2014, and shortly afterwards spoke at a workshop about her success. The Julia Greeley program had helped her achieve independence. She was in her own apartment and managing her own life.
Now Sylvia had a plan. She wanted to share the light that she had found at Julia's: “I want to volunteer,” she said. “When can I start?”
We were thrilled. Who better to explain Julia’s program than Sylvia? She was charismatic, eloquent and eager. She could explain Julia’s program “from the inside out,” because she believed that her time at Julia’s had revitalized her life journey.
A few weeks after that workshop came devastating news. Sylvia had died suddenly from a burst aneurysm suffered at her home. This vital woman, sparkling as a firecracker, had suddenly been called to eternal life.
Yet Sylvia's story continues to inspire us. She is every woman who is alone, suffering, and without a home, who finally triumphed over her circumstances. More ›
Life didn’t spare Vicki from hardship and homelessness, even though she’s held good jobs, been to college, and stayed free of the addiction trap.
The shattering blow for Vicki was the death of her fiance in the summer of 2012. Suddenly, the sensitive, soft-spoken 54-year-old found herself in a bewildering spiral. The couple had planned to let Vicki finish her college degree while her fiance supported them. But after his death, Vicki was forced to drop out of her adult education classes and abandon plans for a business degree. More ›