Shelter from the Night

In early January we received a call over our hotline regarding an elderly mother on oxygen and her two adult special needs children that had become homeless.

After meeting the family, it was hard to tell at first who was taking care of who. Each of them seemed to rely on the other in one form or another. The son did most of the driving, while the daughter did most of the talking, and the mother nurtured and provided until she fell ill.

The family had made arrangements to move into a home, but it wouldn’t be ready until February 1st.  We all know there is no good time for an eviction, especially with winter setting in. But with their vehicle being the only certain refuge for the next month, their health and hopes seemed to do nothing but freeze over in the chill of the night.

Random nights in a hotel were bought for the family by a local church and other caring citizens. But, the stress of uncertainty and the intermittent nights spent in the car had begun to take its toll on the already ailing mother when we finally received the call.

A night in the hospital proved that the situation had grown more serious as the temperatures outside began to hit below freezing. The mother grew weaker and weaker with every stress filled night. We knew we had to act quickly, and so we turned to our donors for help.

“Okay friends, we need some HELP…” began the simple request on Facebook to get this family shelter immediately. Within 9 minutes, the first donation came in to our website. Within two hours after the simple request, donations from donors across the US were enough for us to put the family in a hotel for the entire month, right up to the day that they would move into their new home.

With this wonderful news, we were excited to tell them of Gods’ amazing blessing. But to our dismay they had disappeared without a trace, so we began our search for them through the rain and freezing temperatures.  Several of the staff searched our town high and low for hours. In and out of department stores, hospitals, motels and restaurants, to see if the family was trying to stay dry and warm somewhere. Even the local law enforcement assisted us by putting out a report for its officers to be on the lookout for their car.

It took two days of searching on into the wet cold nights before Tim finally found the family in a local hotel.  Another generous person had put them up for the weekend and it was their last night when we were able to sit down with them and tell them the great news.

Tim sat with the daughter in the downstairs waiting area of the hotel and explained how our donors from several different states had come together to give them a place to stay, and that we had been searching for them for days! Immediately she began to weep and the tremendous weight of homelessness seemed to visibly lift from her shoulders.

The month has passed quickly and soon the family will move into their new home.  The mother is slowly recovering, and son and daughter have both worked very hard and gotten jobs to begin helping provide for each other again. God has truly shown this family that He can take care of them even at the most despairing of times.

With the donations that were made, we were able to make sure this family had medications, food, clothes, and shelter.  And with your prayers we were able to keep them encouraged and on the right track to starting over!