Mattie Michael was forced to seek refuge first with Etta Mae and later Eva Turner after she encounters a series of unfortunate events. She was kicked out of their home after failing to reveal the identity of the man who was responsible for her pregnancy. Homeless and pregnant, she was taken in by Etta and then Eva who supported her as she sorted out her life and even managed to get a house of her own where she lived and raised her son. Unfortunately, she lost her house after her son skipped bail and she was forced to move to Brewster Place. Her relocation to the area turned into a rescue mission for Lucielia Turner, the granddaughter to Eva. The young lady had been suffering in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend Eugene. In addition to that, she was suicidal. Mattie’s support and affection was necessary in helping Lucielia overcome the troubles caused by the relationship, including the loss of her child. Etta also went through troubles of her own and ended up at Mattie’s home in Brewster Place.
According to the story, Etta, who previously maintained multiple relationships with men, had changed her ways and decided to settle down with a pastor. However, the man disappointed her and their relationship failed. On the other hand, Mattie hoped for a better future as seen in her dream about the ‘block party,’ where the community brought down a wall symbolizing their troubles.