Meet Patty

A Very Cold Winter

In February 2020, just before the Covid-19 outbreak, our staff went to Patty’s home to replace the front and back door to her trailer home. The front door was falling off its hinges, and the back improperly fitted caused frigid air to rush inside Patty’s home. She and her dog, Diamond, had been forced to take refuge in the bedroom with a space heater. “Both Diamond and I never took our sweaters off,” Patty said. “To keep going, I reminded myself I once was a medic working out in snow and heat, so I can handle this.”

Years prior, Patty had worked diligently as a single mom to put her son through college as a paramedic in Newark, and in the burn unit at St. Barnabus. One day, out on a call, Patty attempted to save a patient during an opioid overdose. His mother begged, “Please don’t let my son die.” In a desperate attempt to save the boy while his mother looked on, Patty worked quickly. However, the boy woke from the drug-induced coma too quickly and attacked her. Beaten so severely, she was unable to return to work again. “I went from a $50,000 a year job to $20,000 in income.”

Starting Over

Patty needed a fresh start and an affordable residence. She found a mobile home unit in Ocean County and moved in. Little did she know she’d soon face new struggles. Fortunately, Patty learned about our program and soon applied. Since receiving our help, she continues to help others, cooking and baking for her neighbors. Patty has also become a regular volunteer at our ReStore. “People have no idea that when things go bad, they are not alone,” she said. “People need to know that what you do (Habitat) is not a charity, it’s a pay it forward.”