When Lucinda Morgan was homeless and out of a job, she turned to The City for help. The 51-year-old was placed in the Mary Elizabeth Inn, a safe home for women, nearly four years ago — and she hasn’t looked back since.
Morgan is now training to be a medical administrative assistant after spending most of her career in a law office.
She’s only been able to make the switch with the help of the programs and job training she received through Mary
“I had thought about switching careers,” she said. “I realized I didn’t want to be a paralegal and was sort of tired of sorting mail and making copies. This was a great opportunity.”
Morgan said that without the help, she does not know where she would be today.
“The Mary Elizabeth Inn has a really great support system,” Morgan said. “I had some unrealistic expectations about what would happen once I was laid off. Once I was homeless, I thought the worst was over and to get back on my feet I would need to get a job. It took longer than I thought.”
Morgan and the dozens of other residents at the organization’s original building at 1040 Bush St., and those at The Verona at 317 Leavenworth St., are preparing to give back to the inn that has given so much to them. The organization turns 100 in 2014 and staff members are planning a yearlong celebration.
Dion Roberts, executive director of the organization, said it will host a speaker series on the inn’s history and a gala.
“We want to capitalize on that history,” Roberts said, “and do a little bit of education and community awareness on issues women are facing.”
The inn was founded in 1914 by Lizzie Snyder Glide, who also created the well-known Glide Memorial Church. The inn was intended to be a safe haven for women coming to San Francisco “seeking employment, schooling, or leaving behind family turmoil,” according to its website.
The organization has grown and evolved over time, Roberts said. It now provides a safe living space for homeless women who have special needs or who are fleeing domestic violence situations. The women who come to the inn are offered case management, referrals for specialized services and even group activities.
Morgan is grateful to have the resources. She said that without group activities, things might have turned out differently.
“It can be very demoralizing to be homeless,” Morgan said. “And when you’re not working, it helps to have things to do.”