In Their Own Words: Overcoming Homelessness With Mercy
My two daughters and I have lived in this area for 10 years, but I am originally from Nashville TN. We don’t have any family here. The closest is TN.
I had a good job, but then they got new management. The made some changes and a lot of us were laid off. We had our little savings, and my savings went to rent and our dryer went out and I depleted my savings.
We gave back the house and decided we had to live in the car. I had some savings and we had a Cadillac. It was old but the AC worked. We always enjoyed coming to OP and I knew the schools were better here, so that is how we ended up here.
We only kept enough belongings that could fit into the car.
We slept at a rest stop and came to the OP library during the day to stay cool and look for a job. I finally found a job at a law firm, but we lived in the car for six months before I found Mercy and Ms. Dena.
We were referred by Project Reach.
I still had some money from savings, and we could not bathe all week. Then on the weekends I would get a cheap room, for about $30, praying there were no bedbugs and such, and we would shower and get cleaned up. This year the girls had to forego PE class at school so they would not get sweaty during the week. We only washed on Sundays.
One of the most exciting things was our move-in day, when the fridge was full of food. For the longest time, we were not cooking and eating only packaged foods. We had no refrigerator, so we had to make the money stretch. When we saw the first apartment, we did not care what was in it. We were so excited to just have shelter. The apartment is fantastic, our church home was awesome and always there supporting us. First Presbyterian Church, we enjoyed everything! The food, the brownies! Just the little things made us feel so special. Thank you so much!
We are so thankful. When you live in your car, and have seen what we’ve seen, and have to protect ourselves on the streets, this all is such a blessing. Ms. Dena, what you all are doing, keep doing it. We are so thankful from the bottom of our hearts.
When I tell you that Mercy has changed our lives, I don’t know where we would be. Finding Mercy gave me peace of mind as a mom. I could not focus on what was going on outside our car, and working, and keeping the kids safe…
Now I’m standing here strong because of Mercy. I want you to know all the time, the texts messages, counseling, our Care Coach parents – our success is because of it all. Every step of the way, even the ones behind the scenes that I have not met, you all contributed to me and the girls. Ms. Janice (Financial Care Coach) taught us that “Murphy” is going to come. Now I know. She brought so much knowledge to share and is amazing. She doesn’t just teach you, she shows you her own envelope system and is living it as well. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. I don’t know where I would be. But as soon as I am able, we want to pay it forward. We thank you so much.