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Elder House - Gertrude Smith

Gertrude is in her seventies, single and has lived in Gifford since 1961. She has worked as a housekeeper for two families in Vero Beach for a total of forty-seven years. Gertrude still works for one of the families on a regular basis.

When asked to share how she became the resident of the first elder house built by Every Dream Has a Price (EDHP) she shared the story of her friend Louise who said to her one day, “I did something. I hope you are not angry with me.” “What did you do?” Gertrude replied. Louise told her she put Gertrude’s name on the list for a new home being built by EDHP. Louise felt that although Gertrude lived in a decent house, after all her years of hard work, she deserved better.

The home was still in disrepair from the 2004 hurricanes. Her arthritis made moving difficult and she needed a place she could easily navigate. Gertrude, a woman of faith, thought about the idea and decided she “would claim it in the name of Jesus.” Gertrude offered to help with the project. However, she got involved helping a sick friend who she regularly took the bus to visit in Ft. Pierce. After he left for Baltimore to live with his family, Gertrude moved into her new house on February 7, 2012.

Gertrude was able to meet board members from the John’s Island Foundation that funded the elder house project and personally thank them for their generosity. She had a lot of help moving into her new home, and very little furniture because the old furniture had mold and water damage from the hurricanes. Fortunately, caring friends and acquaintances helped furnish the house over time bringing chairs, tables and sofas to her home.

“I love my house,” she says. “Every day I am grateful to be in my own place where I can get around.”




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