“Get a job” is a painful refrain that most of the unhoused have heard more than once. Not only did Lexie and Jacob actually have jobs, but they also were going to school full time. And Lexie found out this weekend that she made the honor roll, even while she was unhoused the entire time!
What does that look like? Every other day a $13 shower at a truck stop. Riding the light rail or bus during the day, getting off at midnight and then walking five miles to their jobs at the shipping company that started at 3:00 a.m. Then getting off work at 10:00 am to go to classes. Sleep for a couple of hours and start all over again. After three months of living outside, they were able to purchase a car. This at least gave them a sanctuary where they could sleep and keep their belongings.
Giving up was not an option. They wanted their children back. Not from the system, but from relatives who didn’t feel like living in a car gave children much security. A sad reality Lexie and Jacob knew was true.
HART met them at the Red Cross evacuation center during the floods. They had found a quiet place to sleep.Bundled up with blankets over their heads, they almost seemed invisible until one day they asked, “What about us?”
The beauty of HART is that we see each person and their situation individually. With federal money still available from Covid we were able to aid them by paying their deposit and the first month’s rent on an apartment. They now savor the warmth and hot showers on demand that once were hard to find. Their new apartment is fully furnished with gently used furniture from HART. They have a great place for their kids to live. After six long months, Easter was their first day together as a family.
We are so proud of them! Lexie will be done with school soon while Jacob has finished and is working at his externship. One day soon, the shipping company will be in their past and professional jobs will be theirs. We’re so glad that HART could be there to help give them a step up into their new home.
Please be a part of the Big Day of Giving to help encourage those who feel forgotten and abandoned to keep moving forward. We’re thankful that Lexie and Jacob will no longer have to hear the ugly command, “Get a job!”
Big Day of Giving is just around the corner on Thursday, May 4th! But the donation link is live NOW!