Raised in Colorado, Mervine “Mary” Martinez survived an abusive childhood before earning her degree in Theology and Evangelism.
As an adult, she came to Dallas to start a street ministry with members of her faith who wanted to help those in need. For years, she used her own experience and testimony to bring hope to those living in homeless encampments in Dallas.
But Mary suffered from a lifetime visual disability, so getting around town was a constant struggle. She had to rely on rides from friends and public transportation to do her work. Her daily commute often took hours each way, and not knowing where her next ride would come from was stressful.
In 2010, Mary happened to be passing the newly renovated CityWalk@Akard. She decided to come inside, where building concierge Bernard Baylor greeted her and gave her some more information on what CitySquare was doing with the place.
The timing was fortuitous. Mary was herself in need of a place to live. With Bernard’s help, she secured a spot on the waiting list for CityWalk@Akard. In less than three months, she became one of the original residents of the building.
Because CityWalk is downtown, Mary no longer has to struggle with a cumbersome commute. She is able to take advantage of CitySquare’s many programs to help maximize her limited income. Mary visits the CitySquare Food Pantry regularly and has even been to the CitySquare Clinic for free medical services like flu shots. All this while she continues serving her community and those in need.
“I’m not one to sit on something; I want to keep going forward. And that’s what I tell people,” says Mary. CitySquare is proud and grateful to have Mary as part of our family. She is truly an example to everyone of what it means to be a good neighbor.