I hope you all have had a chance to enjoy the great weather :)
Good Friday was a rainy stormy day. That morning a family of six got off the bus on meridian and walked to our office because they had no car. They had rode the bus up the hill from the NW Motor Inn and had just spent their last few dollars to stay out of the rain last night, but would have to move out at noon that day. They had no place to go with 4 children between the ages of 5 and 12. They were asking us for help, with the back up plan to sleep in the park that night hoping the tree would provide some shelter from the rain.
The father had been a commercial truck driver but when his hours had been reduced last fall he lost his medical benefits and was not able to continue to take his blood pressure meds.When his blood pressure rose he lost his CDL and thus his livelihood. Mom was working part time but when their car broke down they couldn’t get around the community and now were truly homeless and without option.
We only had one staff member in the office that morning and he couldn’t fit everyone in his small car, but he took the younger children and one parent to one of our emergency houses that had just been vacated a day before. Normally we would clean it up for a few days, but in this situation we just proceeded (it was in pretty good shape). The rest of the family walked the mile and a half to join the group at the home. Deciding we would offer them emergency housing, but that it was after 12:15pm and the NW Motor Inn would be cleaning out the room the family had stayed in, the case manager drove the dad to the inn to gather the duffle bags with all the families belongings before they were stolen, then took him to an appointment he set up quickly with South Sound Outreach. There he was able to get temporary medical assistance for the dad and they called in an order for his blood pressure medication.
By 5pm that same day, the family was housed in our emergency shelter, they had food, their belongings, and medicine. Now a week later the father is working to get his CDL reinstated because his blood pressure is back under control and has a job interview next week – at a place on a transit line so he can get there without a car. Its possible that his family that was hours from sleeping in the park in the rain could be out of this homeless situation in the next month. Very seldom does all this come together, but as we recounted the story that evening at 5:30 in our office we agreed it was (in the words of our case manager) a “Good Friday miracle” and a great way to end the week :)