About Eddie Mae Sloan
The Sloan House emergency women’s shelter bears the name of Eddie Mae Sloan, a courageous woman dedicated to improving the conditions of those living in poverty. Eddie Mae committed the later part of her life to resolving the poverty she saw in her community by empowering those most affected by it.
Before moving to Sonoma County in 1953 Eddie Mae was living in the Hunter Point neighborhood of San Francisco with her husband and three children. It was a dangerous neighborhood with limited opportunities. She realized she wanted a different kind of life for her children so the family purchased a 10 acre plot of land in West County and began building a home room by room.
Before taking a job as a psychiatric technician at the Sonoma County Developmental Center Eddie Mae worked any odd job she could to support her family. From cleaning houses to picking fruit she never turned down an opportunity to work. She also used the land to grow vegetables and raise chickens. Once she even traded hard work at a neighbor’s farm for a pig. According to her daughter, Johnice Shura, “My mother showed us there was always an opportunity as long as we were willing to work for it.
Eddie Mae didn’t limit her self to helping only her family. This was because she believed it took a community to raise a family. She would share her vegetables with neighbors and would bring them home cooked meals when they were sick. At one point she befriended a woman who was in an abusive relationship and down on her luck. Eddie Mae helped her gain the confidence and access to the tools she needed to improve her situation. It was these values that would set the precedent for the larger successes Eddie Mae would go on to achieve.