Sleeping in a Car in the W*almart Lot — Nobody’s Dream, but One Family’s Sudden Reality

320px-Wal-Mart_in_Madison_HeightsHello, friends: The following is from Ronita Rupert, vice president of our board. Please read about a precious family she has been helping. ACR has taken on this project and we’ll work to ease this family’s overwhelming burden.

February 22, 2013

I met a couple who have recently become homeless. February 4th was the first night they spent sleeping in their car in the Walmart parking lot. We’ve had the coldest of days this winter in the past few weeks. I could not just walk on by, and I cannot imagine how frightening it would be to sleep in my car during frigid nights.

Due to multiple serious health problems, the husband applied for disability. The process was a year long and ended with his denial of benefits. I have heard that many are denied the first time they apply but have a better chance on appeal. Anyway, they have watched their savings and all personal resources drain while their situation did not improve. Though they’d never imagined themselves homeless, it became an unavoidable reality for these precious two.

By the time we crossed paths, they had no money, no income, no ability to work, and no home. Last week, a co-worker of mine provided funds to put minutes on their cell phone, to purchase a gas card, and to get them a hotel room for a couple nights over a very cold, snowy weekend.

The wife is sick and needs surgery; it is scheduled for March 7, 2013. We are very concerned for her and the risks to her if sleeping in a cold car, as well as her comfort during recovery following surgery. I have been to the Franklin County Homeless Shelter, the Cold Weather Shelter, and Candle Heart, and they do not have any empty beds. Salvation Army, SCAPP, HAP, and Mental Health housing all need them to have some kind of income before they can help with housing.

So after exhausting all government resources I know of, and after four days of working to find help for them (that’s four more nights in their car!), I am turning to our friends here at A Child’s Refuge. Together, we can make a huge difference in the life of this truly marginalized and needy family.

God Bless,
Ronita Rupert

THE NEED: $3,000.
We have located an efficiency unit in the borough that rents for $500/month with utilities included. $3,000 will cover the rent for six months, while also providing immediate shelter. We believe it will also give this family some time to work on their disability benefits appeal and to await a new reply.

If you would like to help us to love on this precious family in need, please visit our giving page. All donations are fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

I am incredibly thankful for our board of directors. God placed leaders in place that share the vision and passion for loving the least, as evidenced by this hard work by Ronita.

Thank you all for your love for others.

For the children!

Kristie Fry,
Executive Director

*photo credit