A woman from Anchorage known for helping those facing hard times is having a tough time herself. Alice Lawrence, known as "Mother Lawrence," gives out food and clothing to the needy from her two-story house in Mountain View.
At age 77, Lawrence continues to operate the charity every single day of the week. She said she does it because she knows personally how it feels to have nowhere to turn.
“When I was married before, this guy ran off with another woman," said Lawrence. "There was no place for the wife, for the mother, to go with kids to get any food. So I said, 'Once I get on my feet and get married again, I'm going to make sure there's a place for women with children or men with children' -- that's really why I started this."
For over 40 years she has been providing food, clothes and sometimes shelter to people in need, but now she's the one in need. The very roof over her head is in danger, literally.
“When we had this terrible wind a few weeks ago, it blew some of the top of my house off," said Lawrence.
Aside from windstorm damage, Lawrence says the van she uses to pick up groceries is falling apart. She would like new carpet on the stairs but said she can barely pay the mortgage and utility bills. Despite her own worries, every day, she gets up with one thing in mind: to help others.
It's an action that doesn't always come with a thank-you. In fact, twice in the past year she said she's been robbed at her own house.
“They stole all my money, that just happened a few weeks ago," said Lawrence. When asked it made her feel she replied, "Sad, because they could've asked.”
Lawrence says despite limited funds and sometimes lack of appreciation, she still wants to help others.
Contact Mallory Peebles