Haven Ministries – One Woman’s Journey from Homelessness

Haven Ministries – One Woman’s Journey from Homelessness

By Amelia Blades Steward

Linda Bartholomew, age 44, of Grasonville has been homeless since 2013. She has had a genetic disorder since birth that affects one in a million people, leaving her in constant daily pain. The pain went untreated and she became addicted to marijuana and opioids at a young age before developing a heroin addiction later in her life. The addiction ultimately caused her to lose her three children and her home.

After getting clean in 2019, Linda felt the time was right and reached out to Sandi Wiscott, Director of Operations and Case Management at Haven Ministries in Stevensville, to start case management. Through support from Haven Ministries, Linda has gotten her own apartment and created a stable life for herself.

“I had seen Sandi help others and decided to reach out to her in April 2020. I knew I couldn’t ask for help until I was clean. I was tired of living with that gorilla on my back,” Linda comments.

“Sandi helped me out tremendously – helping me find a place to live and getting the medical care I needed at Johns Hopkins. She is the only one in my life who ever went to bat for me.”

Linda’s trip to Johns Hopkins confirmed her rare genetic disorder, which had never been diagnosed. The diagnosis will play a part in helping her to qualify for disability. The disorder causes Linda’s bones to be malformed. She has grown five full sets of teeth in her lifetime, which have had to be pulled; was born without any collarbone; has constant nerve pain from bone deformities, and even at one point became temporarily blind due to high blood pressure.

“I knew she shouldn’t live like this. She stayed in the Haven Ministries Homeless Shelter during the pandemic and received assistance through its case management program. We are happy to say that when the shelter season ended on May 1, everyone left with a place to call home,” states Sandi.

“I was living on workboats at the Narrows – it was all I knew and I felt safe there. My grandfather was a waterman. The watermen at the Narrows, however, had a betting pool about when I would die because of my lifestyle,” Linda reflects.

Sandi adds that Linda is very proud and initially didn’t want to get help from any agency. Her ethics and moral code had always been important to her. She soon learned, however, that there were people who wanted to help her.

“She has a big heart and is always giving back to her own network of people,” Wescott adds.

“The world has enough people who are not nice and I don’t need to be one of them. Respect, honesty, and loyalty don’t cost anything. I don’t judge anyone as I haven’t walked in their shoes,” Linda states.

“I was living wrong for so long and it didn’t get me anywhere. And now that I am living right, I am getting somewhere. My friends are seeing my progress and even the workboat community sees what I have accomplished.”

For information on Haven Ministries, visit haven-ministries.org or call 410-739-4363

Love shapes the ministry, love transforms people, and hope prevails at Haven Ministries.  Haven Ministries operates a seasonal Homeless Shelter, a Resource Center and Food Pantry in Queenstown, Our Daily Thread Thrift Store in Stevensville, Hope Warehouse in Queenstown, and a Food Pantry Truck in Sudlersville.

Pictured left to right are Linda Bartholomew of Grasonville and Sandi Wiscott, Director of Operations and Case Management at Haven Ministries.

Haven Ministries Celebrates First Anniversary in New Headquarters

Haven Ministries Celebrates First Anniversary in New Headquarters

Haven Ministries is celebrating the first anniversary of its new headquarters on July 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. at its location at 206 Del Rhodes Avenue in Queenstown (behind the Royal Farms). The open house celebration will include refreshments, tours of the organization’s headquarters, resource center, and food pantry, as well as information on Queen Anne’s County resources and job information.

“This event is to bring awareness to the public about our resources. We were not able to have our grand opening of the building because of the pandemic last year, so we are excited to share our facility with the public and our growing list of partners,” states Mary Jeeter, case manager for Haven Ministries.

“Without our community partners, this would not have been possible. We are grateful to the representatives from the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners, Queen Anne’s County Emergency Services, Queen Anne’s County Public Schools, the Queen Anne’s County Health Department, among others, who really supported us through this project,” adds Krista Pettit, Executive Director of Haven Ministries.

The Queen Anne’s County Health Department will be on hand at the celebration with information about Narcan and other resources. The headquarters building also provides free artwork and books, provided by Wye Parish Episcopal Church, for clients needing these items.

For further information, visit haven-ministries.org or call the Haven Ministries headquarters at 410-827-7194.

Love shapes the ministry, love transforms people, and hope prevails at Haven Ministries.  Haven Ministries operates a seasonal Homeless Shelter, a Resource Center and Food Pantry in Queenstown, Our Daily Thread Thrift Store in Stevensville, Hope Warehouse in Queenstown, and a Food Pantry Truck in Sudlersville.

Haven Ministries is celebrating the first anniversary of its new headquarters on July 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. at its location at 206 Del Rhodes Avenue in Queenstown (behind the Royal Farms). Pictured left to right are Mary Jeeter, case manager for Haven Ministries, and Chris Perkins, Food Pantry leader for Haven Ministries.

Haven Ministries Updates Friends Campaign

Haven Ministries is rebranding its Friends monthly giving program. Through the new “Sow the Seeds of Hope” Campaign, individuals and small businesses are encouraged to make monthly contributions of $10 a month to support Haven Ministries’ current programs and new expenses associated with its Homes of Hope, an expansion of its upcoming Housing Assistance Program.

“Our ‘Sow the Seeds of Hope’ Campaign will help us provide shelter, food, clothing and support for our vulnerable community members. It will also help people who are having difficulty finding affordable housing, connecting them to the appropriate services and eventually to permanent housing solutions,” states Krista Pettit, Executive Director of Haven Ministries.

“It’s an easy way to continually support Haven Ministries without making a big dent in the pocketbook at any one time,” states Janet Crutchley of Stevensville.

Kim Hannon, Owner of Ophiuroidea at Kent Narrows and St. Michaels, adds, “Ophiuroidea has been a Haven Ministries ‘Friends’ business partner for many years through their monthly donation plan.   It’s a great and easy way to support their mission every month!”

Haven Ministries operates Our Daily Thread Thrift Store in Stevensville and Hope Warehouse in Queenstown to benefit the agency’s outreach programs in Queen Anne’s County, including its upcoming housing assistance program, resource center, food pantries, street outreach, and seasonal shelter. Its Homes of Hope – two new single-family homes are currently being constructed in Stevensville.

Those who contribute to the “Sow the Seeds of Hope” Campaign will be entered to win one bushel of crabs and an outdoor high-pressure jet cooker valued at $350. The drawing will be held on Wine Down Wednesday, August 4 at Hemingway’s Restaurant in Stevensville. This fundraiser event starts at 5:30 p.m. and includes music by the Unified Jazz Ensemble.  Tickets are available at Haven-ministries.org for $25 per person to include a signature drink and hors d’ oeuvres.  The winner of the drawing does not need to be present to win.

For further information, visit haven-ministries.org or call Krista Pettit at 410-739-4363.

Love shapes the ministry, love transforms people, and hope prevails at Haven Ministries.  Haven Ministries operates a seasonal Homeless Shelter, a Resource Center and Food Pantry in Queenstown, Our Daily Thread Thrift Store in Stevensville, Hope Warehouse in Queenstown, and a Food Pantry Truck in Sudlersville.

Caption: Pictured is Taryn Chase, Managing Director Communication & Outreach for Haven Ministries, with the outdoor high-pressure jet cooker which will be given away, along with a bushel of crabs, to the winner of a drawing at the organization’s Wine Down Wednesday event on August 4 at Hemingway’s Restaurant. All those who contribute to Haven Ministries’ “Sow the Seeds of Hope” Campaign will be entered to win in the drawing.