After losing her father when she was 5, Deb Baker’s childhood only got worse. Alleged “friends” of her father’s and her mother’s new boyfriend raped her throughout her childhood until she moved out. She finished high school and got a job at a donut shop. After the loss of her one year old nephew, she lost her job, got into alcohol and drugs, and got involved in illegal activities. She would get arrested and feel happy about it, knowing that she would have somewhere to sleep other than a car or a basement.
A work release agreement as a janitor brought Deb to House of Hope’s tiny shelter on Shippen Avenue. This opportunity with House of Hope encouraged Deb, but not enough to help her yet. When her sister was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, Deb decided she had to get back on her feet. After being released from her latest stay at the Adult Correctional Institution, Deb was chosen for a permanent apartment.
Jean Johnson had confirmed that she was a good candidate for one of the Wheeler House’s five apartments. For Deb, this was her opportunity to get back on her feet and to be successful on her own. This milestone in Deb’s life wouldn’t have been possible without the help of House of Hope. Supportive housing helped Deb find a place to call home, and now it is a place that she can maintain on her own. Deb appreciates what they have done for her so much and does everything she can to give back. “They are little acts of love, to show them I really don’t take for granted being here – not for one second.”