We’ve been humbled by the support, prayers, and financial assistance we’ve received from you guys…really, it’s mind-blowing, and I thank God for it. For you.
But I want you to know, when you’re helping our family, you’re also helping:
– Samantha, who’s been living on the streets in Hot Springs, AR since last year when her father died. She’s got two kids she doesn’t have custody of, and a job interview tomorrow. Please pray for her. (Mom was able to pray with her and ask her what she needed — she requested a gift card to CVS Health so she could get stuff to prepare for her job interview.)
$20. And my momma sat down on the curb with her. She cried because that’s the first time anybody’s been nice to her in a long time.
– The white-haired, older gentleman from Slidell, LA who was in line in front of me at McDonald’s. He ordered an ice cream sundae and a cup of water (free most places). I saw him counting out his change, and understood what was going on. He’d ordered the cheapest thing on the menu and had probably been saving up that change for days. When he disputed the price with the young man behind the counter, the young man poked fun at him (apparently, the price had gone up a bit and the older man did not anticipate it being so much).
$10. I got him a gift card and handed it to him. He said, “Now I can get me something good to eat!” I told him to order whatever he wanted. (Tough noogies to the jerkface cashier.) Pray for the white-haired man. I didn’t ask him what his name was and I should have. (Someday I’ll learn.)
– The elderly African American woman searching the dumpster behind a gas station in the bad part of Hot Springs, AR, for food in the middle of the night. We don’t know her name, and we’re not even sure if she was in her right mind, but we decided to call her Maumelle because that’s the exit she was at off I-30. Plus I just feel like it fits.
$10. Momma handed it to her and told her to go get her something to eat. This woman probably raised a family…she’s probably worked her whole life…she’s probably somebody’s grandma. It’s ridiculous she’s out there dumpster diving for food. And she was surrounded by some very shark-like homeless fellows whom I have no doubt she had need to be afraid of. Pray for Maumelle.
I reached my breaking point today, I think, you guys.
We left the hotel early & got a refund for the extra two nights I’d paid for. The Boy was having difficulty adjusting to the space & had a moment — threw my (new) phone & it broke a window. That cost us $150. The hotel owner wouldn’t board up the window & The Boy fixated on it — not safe. Back to the rest area we went.
We spent the last two nights at the rest area. Last night was terrifying. A big semi-truck came barrelling through the rest area…Idk if he was confused or overtired, but his vehicle barely missed ours & two others. He took out signs & a concrete pilon/trash can. We didn’t know if his vehicle was even going to stop — he could’ve smashed right into a row of semis.
About 10 minutes after that, The Boy figured out how to open the car door, & he nearly fell out — I was able to catch him before he did. Thank God.
It became overwhelmingly clear to me last night that we just cannot keep sleeping in the car anymore. So tonight we’re in a hotel. But hotels are a $ drain, & I don’t want to be unwise with what we’ve been given.
I broke down today because I just can’t do it anymore. Sleeping in the car worked for a while, but we need a home. And we need it ASAP😣
Note: This was originally posted to my LinkedIn account in early April/late March. It is the 9th post in a series I’ve been writing on LinkedIn about our family’s homelessness. I started writing because I felt like God was directing me to share the reality of what many people are facing in the U.S., and put a new face to homelessness. I’m a young professional with a disabled child, with a mom whose health has seen better days, and two obnoxious dogs. But homelessness doesn’t care who you are, and it affects thousands of people every day. I hope that by reading our stories from the road, your beliefs about homeless people will be challenged, and you’ll be spurred to cause change. Nobody should ever be homeless. Nobody.